Amihud GILEAD, University of Haifa, Israel
"The Topos of Atlantis: Some Philosophical Insights"
At the beginning of "Critias", Timaeus mentions a feeling of "the relief of the traveler who can rest after a long journey "(St. 106a). Yet the dialectical journey in the "Republic" and other Platonic dialogues does not come to its end. To end such a journey means to become wise, which is beyond any human capability; it is rather the capability of the gods. As lovers of wisdom, all the interlocutors at Plato's dialogue are doomed to travel in an endless journey, which no rest can terminate. "Critias" is a dialogue with no end; it is endless even more than any aporetic dialogue, whose end is not the termination of its journey.
What is the deep connection between this sort of end and the myth of Atlantis? It has to do with the main insight that I'll discuss at my presentation, namely, that Atlantis is atopos, not only as a utopia, but in the strict Platonic sense of it. The Ideas are supposed to be at a topos-a-topos, whereas anything below them in the ontic scale has a topos. At the lowest step of the scale one meets the eikasia, to which all images belong, one of which is any myth, especially that of Atlantis. Yet, in the place of Atlantis one cannot find it but only an open sea. This makes one of the Platonic strongest symbol for the dialectical-philosophical journey that has no end and does not terminate in rest. In a way Atlantis myth represents Plato's dramatic writing (which I discuss in a book of mine*): anything at the scale below the Ideas is an image, a representation of something higher. The philosopher's endless journey toward the Ideas consists of eikasia, for each grade of the ontic scale is an image of the higher grade. The topos of the Atlantis myth is, therefore, its distance from the aspired end of the journey. Any Platonic achievement, especially in writing, has such a topos, which is an indispensable part of reality, although never the really real itself.
Kurt LAMBECK & Anthony Purcell, The Australian National University, Australia
"Palaeogeographic reconstructions of the Aegean. Was Atlantis on the doorstep of Athens?"
Sea level has oscillated significantly during glacial cycles but because of the earth's deformational and gravitational response to the changing ice sheets this change exhibits a complex spatial and temporal pattern. The major changes occurred from the onset of the last deglaciation until about 6000 years ago when globally sea levels first approached their present levels. Changes in the eastern Mediterranean, for example, differed from changes in the Baltic Sea as well as from changes in south-east Asia (1). Even within each region the rates and magnitudes of change vary by significant amounts because of the Earth's response to the changing ice and water load as ice sheets melt and ocean volumes increase. In the Aegean, for example, the sea level rise varied from Thrace to Crete and from Milos to Rhodes (2). In many tectonically stable parts of the world's coastlines these changes have been documented in the geological and archaeological records and when this is combined with geophysical theory of the Earth's response, accurate predictive models of sea level change and shoreline evolution can be developed. Such models have been developed for many parts of the world, including the Aegean (2) and the straits from the Aegean to the Black Sea. At the time of the Last Glacial Maximum much of the area of now-shallow waters were exposed. In particular, the Cycladean group of islands formed an extensive land area extending north-south from Andros to Ios over a distance of ~ 160 km and with a maximum east-west extent of ~ 85 km. Milos remained separated from this "Super Cycladea" but the separation was much reduced and could be crossed without loosing sight of land, both where one came from and where one was going to. The separation from the Greek mainland, between Andros and Evvoia, was also small. Initially this geography changed only slowly as the ice sheets began to melt and the earth began to respond to the changing surface loads. By 14,000 years ago the coastal geometry had changed only little but after this the rise in sea level was more rapid and the single island began to break up into two parts separated by a shallow sea. By about 10,000 years ago, the break-up became more substantial and the geography began to resemble its present configuration: the originally extensive, relatively flat and low-lying plain progressively reduced to a few rocky islands over a period of about 6000 years. This evolution continued into more recent time, albeit at a much reduced rate, and in Early Bronze age sea levels here were as much as 5m lower than today. Can a collective long-term memory of this break up of Super Cycladea be the source of Plato's Atlantis? The timing of the break-up and the description of the island is not at variance with Plato's account but its veracity requires long preservation of mythologies.
Flood myths from other parts of the world come from areas that were subject to similar rapid shoreline migrations where coastal communities were continually disrupted by the rising sea. Does the Sumerian Flood legend have its origins in the flooding of the Persian Gulf that occurred until about 6000 years ago (3,4). Does the remarkable similarity of the Irish Sea between the description in the Mabinogion and model reconstructions also reflect a distant memory?
Siegfried G. SCHOPPE & Christian Schoppe, University of Hamburg, Germany
"Atlantis in the Black Sea"
Until around 5500 BC the Black Sea was a (smaller) freshwater-lake. The breaking Bosporus sill led to a flood commonly referred to as Noah's Flood (Pitman/Ryan). Although heavily attacked, just recently this theory has gained support from new studies. We propose that Atlantis was an early neolithic settlement at the former shoreline of that lake.
With regard to the interactions between the Atlanteans and the ancestor peoples of Athens and Egypt we propose that the saga refers to a war between Europe and Small Asia (Anatolia) where the peoples of Athens and Egypt with their equivalent gods Athene and Neith were located. The war was initiated over the Obsidian stone (Oreichalcos) which was the equivalent of money at that time and which was found in the Carpathian Mountains (Atlantis), on Milos (Tyrrhenia) and in Anatolia.
As far as archaeology is concerned, the year 5500 BC marks the rise of the Vinca culture on the Balkans with their Old European Writing (sic!) and the Neolithic Diaspora in Europe. The first settlers reached Egypt at 5500 BC, and we follow the theory of Robert Schoch that the Sphinx dates back as far as 5000 BC. Finally, we were able to exactly locate the former ten kingdoms of Atlantis due to the meaning of the words accompanied by a stunning similarity in sound.
We suppose that the Pillars of Herakles are equal to the Bosporus for several reasons. Further, in our opinion the Marmara Sea equals the haven with a narrow entrance.
Ulf RICHTER, Independent, Germany
"Plato´s Atlantis was in a River Delta. New insights taken from studying the Timaeus and Critias"
Reading Plato´s two books about Atlantis and comparing the described facts with modern knowledge about geology, tectonics, archaeology and technology gives us new insights about how Atlantis had looked. This is necessary before we can look for its proper location.
We know that around the Royal City of Atlantis was an absolutely flat and even plain, irrigated by a widely branched system of canals which drain into the sea. This plain was mainly formed by alluvial land in a large river delta. To feed such a delta, the area of the whole country must have been at least 10 times as large as the plain. There must have been a chain of high sand dunes along the shore.
The hill with the central temple was formed by tectonic forces during the uplifting of a salt dome. The 3 circular ditches were formed by natural erosion, and the two fountains on the central islands brought water from the distant mountains.
For the irrigation of the fertile alluvial plain a central organisation was necessary which led to the formation of the high culture of Atlantis, as it was the case in most other early cultures in the world.
The canals in the alluvial plain were V-shaped. The excavated silt was used to build dams on both sides to protect the fields against flooding by the tides and from the mountains. The reported depth of the canals shows that Plato´s "stades" must be translated as Egyptian length units "Khet" (1 khet = 52,4 m), and so we get realistic dimensions for the plain (length 157 km, width 105 km) and the Royal City (diameter 6,6 km). Tables show the dimensions of Atlantis in comparison with buildings and canals in antique and modern times.
Filippos TSIKALAS, University of Oslo, Norway
Stavros PAPAMARINOPOULOS, University of Patras, Greece
V. V. SHUVALOV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
"A new geophysical interpretation of the Platonic multi-ringed concentric morphology of Atlantis capitol based on numerical simulations"
The most characteristic geomorphologic feature of the capitol of Atlantis, as described by Plato in the 4th century B.C. based on information given by the Egyptian priesthood in the 6th century B.C. to the Athenian Solon, was the existence of concentric multi-rings surrounding an elevated central region. The multi-ring morphology included three elevated rings of land segregated by equivalent number of troughs filled with water (e.g. Kabanakis, 1996). The origin of the Atlantis characteristic geomorphology has been until now vied as related to volcanic concentric crater (e.g. Fouque, 1869, 1879; Marinatos, 1939; Galanopoulos, 1960), and may alternatively considered as possibly related to processes of salt/evaporate-deposits withdrawal and diapirism and to mud-volcano or clay-diapirism. We now propose, based on an idea of one of us (Papamarinopoulos, 2001) who refuted the equation Santorini=Atlantis by proposing an alternative non-volcanic mechanism for the origin of the multi-ringed feature described by Plato, that there is a more profound connection of Atlantis multi-ring morphology to meteorite impact-related processes. We have used the SOVA multi-material hydrocode (Shuvalov, 1999; Shuvalov, 2002; Shuvalov et al., 2002) to model numerically the cratering and early modification stages of a possible meteorite impact. The best results were obtained using a three-layer target with a composite strength structure composed, from top to bottom, of: 1) a few hundred meters in thickness of material properties approximating a siliciclastic sedimentary layer (dry friction of 0.7 and cohesion of 1MPa), 2) a few hundred meters in thickness of a low strength layer resembling salt/evapotite or clay deposits (zero friction and cohesion of 1MPa), and 3) an increased strength layer of either greatly compacted sediments or basement (dry friction of 0.7 and cohesion of 1MPa). The impact was simulated by a 400-m-diameter stony meteorite projectile impacting vertically at a typical velocity of 17 km/s. The ANEOS equation of state has been employed to model the thermo-dynamical properties of the materials. Simulations were performed both for onshore/coastal target environment and for targets with a shallow water cover, ~10-50 m, on top. The numerical simulations clearly show that multi-ring features are possible at this scale for specific layered targets. In particular, a central peak feature with a diameter of 0.9-1 km is simulated, surrounded by multiple rings and troughs that indicate an intense central deformation within a 6-8 km diameter. Depending on the properties of the upper 1-2-km-thickness target and the presence of water, the simulations have shown that subdued outer deformation may reach a diameter of 22-24 km. The developed shock compression pressure reached during impact has exceeded the melting shock pressure for the target materials and therefore melts were produced. Furthermore, modelling has shown that the impact-induced temperature increase within the upper 1-km-thickeness target has reached >250 degrees (C) and concentrated within the central peak of the structure. The increase in temperature is capable to initiate a hydrothermal system lasting for a maximum duration of approximately 10,000 yrs; thermal exhaustion may actually be much faster due to water circulation at the hydrothermal system itself. The simulations for the capitol of Atlantis produce a structure that is comparable (keeping in mind the differences in absolute dimensions and impact-energy release) with well preserved central-peak and peak-ring craters (e.g. Mjølnir Crater, Tsikalas et al. 1998a-c, 1999, 2002a-b; and Silverpit Structure, Stewart and Allen, 2002). An additional final feature that might be included in the simulations is the occurrence of concentric erosive/resurge gullies similar to those observed at several impact craters (e.g. Tsikalas and Faleide, 2004; von Dalwigk and Ormö, 2001) that may possibly result due to a shallow-water cover on top of the target and/or facilitated by pre-existing fracture systems.
Jonas BERGMAN, Independent, Sweden
"The Phoenician Connection"
Atlantis was, according to Plato, located outside the Pillars of Heracles ( the straits of Gibraltar ) ( Tim. 24e ). The first born child of the Atlantean god Poseidon was named Atlas and received the island of Atlantis as his lot. The second born child was named Gadeirus, and received as his lot the country facing Gadeira ( Crit. 114b ), an ancient Phoenician town and region in southern Spain. According to Plato, this fact may have given the region its title "Gadeira or Gadir". The question now remains: Was Atlantis an ancient Phoenician colony? I will show that Plato's descriptions of the Atlantean civilization strongly reminds you of the early Phoenician/Tyrian colonies in the west, and that the Tyrian god Melqart is identical to the Atlantean Poseidon, both of them founders of Gadeira.
List of common traits:
- Sacred fire
- Sacred springs
- Copper/bronze/brass pillars with inscriptions in the temple
- A god representing the power of the monarchy
- A god associated with fertility and the sea
- Foundation of cities attributed to the god
- Bull sacrifice to the god
- Security offered by the god in his temple
- Mutual relations regulated by the god in his temple
- Strong oaths binding cities/colonies to each other
- Location of cities in the Atlantic
- Position of cities on hills in river deltas
- The temple of the god preceding the actual city
- The god was the founder of Gadeira/Gadir
Werner WICKBOLDT, Independant, Germany
"Locating the capital of Atlantis by strict observation of the text by Plato."
The examination of the term "nesos/ island" in Egyptian and Greek language indicates that "nesos Atlantis" must not be an island but it even may be a coastal area.
Iit is looked along the western coast of Europe and Africa for a landscape that fulfils the report of Plato. The only landscape that is satisfying is found inside the mouth of the river Guadalquivir. The area that is considered is destinated by maps created in search of the settlement of Tartessos by Prof. Schulten in the 1920th. Schulten refers to ancient writers using the term "nesos" in connection to the Nile, Indus, Tiber and Tartessos. Will "nesos Tartessos" be equal to "nesos Atlantis"?
The possible territory is a part of the valley flat of the Marisma de Hinojos inside the Parque National Coto de Donana. To go there is not permitted. Therefore a satellit view is ordered. Two circular arcs crossing the banks of a river are detected. Near to the center of them two rectangle are to be seen. One of them seems to be the temple of Atlantis with the proportions length/width = 2/ 1. Encouraged by this further parts of circular arcs are detected concentrically to the same center. Completed out to a system of circles it corresponds to the description of Plato´s center of Atlantis. Further on the canal of Atlantis running to the sea may be identified by a line of lakes. It´s length even corresponds to the desription of Plato´s canal from the center to the sea.
The outlined structures correspond in their positions and dimensions to the description of the capital of Atlantis. This has been worked out theoretically but has to be testified by archaeological excavation before you may say: Atlantis is discovered.
Ronnie ALONZO, Keystone Research, Philippines
Joel Quines, Keystone Research, Italy
"A Stone Code From Zambales Mountain Range: A Link To The Atlantean Myth"
A stone code found in Zambales Mountains in 1985 shows the location of the lost island of Atlantis. The lines on the artifact when plotted in a world stress map being developed by USGS falls along the compression and spreading centers around the globe thereby giving impression that these represents the "force" that reshapes the surface of the earth and creating geological stress around the entire planet.
The attributed location of Atlantis discovered on the overlying surface of the stone map when projected in a dynamic earth map using Coreldraw process falls along the geographical locations of Iceland, the British Isles, Madeira, Azores and the Canary Islands. These islands have stories recounting their ancestors descending from a mighty race that inhabited an island in the Atlantic believed to be the legendary Atlantis.
Recent discoveries on both sides of the Atlantic revealing submerged structures like walls, buildings, pyramids, roads and sometimes outline of a complex urban development is a clear proof of Atlantis-an island that was destroyed by natural forces and finally resting at the bottom of the oceanfloor 11,000 years ago after a world-wide catastrophe.
This paper analyzes data from seismology, oceanography, underwater and satellite photography during the 17-year study period and comparing them with information from the stone map resulting to a hypothesis presented herein.
The analysis shows that the Atlantis figure in the stone map is in the same geographical location as described by Plato in Critias and Timaeus thereby also giving credence to the cartographic sketch of Atlantis drawn by Athanasius Kircher in 1665.
Yair SCHLEIN, Open University, Israel
"The Novelty of the Atlantis Myth in the Light of Freudian Interpretation"
A corner stone in Platonic political philosophy is a mythical perception of the Polis as an organic being that has an inevitable natural course of deterioration. Plato illustrated this process in the comparison between the contemporary and the utopic Athens as portrayed in the myth of Atlantis. The Atlantis myth illustrates the Ideal regime and serves as a starting point to the description of the state "pathology", that is to say, the degeneration process of the state that differs from the "physiology" of state that depicts the political structure in a given time. In other words, the myth expresses the inherent causes for the deterioration of the polis.
Freud too, in his book "Civilization and its Discontents", described society as a self-destructive. The analogous perceptions of the life of an individual to the structure of the state, and the similar characteristics Plato and Freud attributed to the state are surprising. In order to discuss these similarities it is necessary to point out the outstanding and unique characteristics that particularly at his time distinguished the Platonic myth. For example, although the nostalgic attitude to the Ideal Past is common to the myth of Atlantis and the Hesiodic Myth of races and other political myths of his time, the Platonic political thought culminates in the unique idea of the state's structure. This structure is an expresses of the ideal relations that ought to exist between the state and the individual.
Dallas ABBOTT and L. BURCKLE, Columbia University, USA
W. B. MASSE, Los Alamos National Observatory, USA
D. BREGER, Drexel University, USA
"Burckle Abyssal Impact Crater: Did this Impact Produce a Global Deluge?"
We have found an impact crater that is likely < 6000 years old. Burckle crater is in the central Indian Ocean at 30.87° S 61.36°E. The crater is 31±1 km wide. The crater is deepest SE of its center. There is a deep gouge in the surface topography to the SE and a topographically smooth area NW of the crater rim. These topographic features suggest that the impactor came from the SE and that the tektite field lies NW of the crater rim. We are looking for tektites in young abyssal sediments from NW of the crater. Because the impactor hit a fracture zone wall, the rim of Burckle crater is unusually well defined. The crater rim shows evenly spaced notches that we interpret as resurge gullies. Near Burckle crater, we found a 26 cm thick layer with high magnetic susceptibility that extends to the top of core DODO132P. DODO132P has a basal age of Pleistocene. The high susceptibility layer contains numerous Mn oxide coated rock fragments, as expected for an ejecta layer from an impact that fragmented a fracture zone wall. These fragments do not resemble typical Mn nodules. We also found clear fragments of mid-ocean ridge type plagioclase and a 200 micron wide grain of native Ni. The Ni is clearly a fragment of the impactor as it has an ablation rind of NiO that forms drops on the surface of the grain. The Ni contains no significant Fe and we interpret it as a piece of a comet. Burckle crater impact event is in the right location to be the source of devastating rains, tsunamis, winds, and associated social upheaval around 2807 B.C.
Erick WRIGHT, Independent Researcher, USA
Intermediary Embedded Synonymy, Integrated Ambiguous Homonymy, and the Egyptian Hieroglyphic Inspiration for the Atlantis Story
Critias asserted that Solon brought the Atlantis story back from Egypt and that he derived the Greek character names by translating the meanings of the names inscribed in the Egyptian hieroglyphic records.
No academic scholar has ever attempted to determine if Critias' assertion would actually yield any information regarding the origins of the story.
My research examined:
a. Meanings of character names
b. Synonymous words in Egyptian hieroglyphic language
c. Whether synonymous words yielded clues as to story's origin
1. Examined etymological roots of character names and found true sense of names in Greek.
2. Translated senses of names by finding synonymous words in
Egyptian hieroglyphic language.
Synonymous words yielded no clues themselves; however, I observed that homonyms of synonymous words yielded very interesting results.
Example 1: Cleito means "renowned", which translates as ab. Meanings of ab homonyms include:
To face some enemy
Example 2: Leucippe means "white horse", which translates as hetch ses. Meanings of hetch ses homonyms include:
Chapel (of) Rameses III
To filch from Rameses III
To block (of a road)
Further experimentation determined that all fourteen names exhibited correlations to Mortuary Chapel of Rameses III and yielded details of Atlantis story.
Research is on-going and no conclusions have yet been reached; observations have been submitted to make academic community aware of research, prompt discussion, and possibly solicit assistance.
For now, the phenomenon remains merely an interesting coincidence, however, future studies include:
-Possibility of surreptitious appropriation and allegorical utilization of "Sea Peoples" story
-Examination of hieroglyphic inscriptions at Medinet Habu
- Determination as to reversibility of process
- Viability of previously undiscovered literary device
- Philosophical implications
Axel HAUSMANN, Technical University of Aachen, Germany
"The Disc of Phaistos - An object relating Sicily, Crete and the Island of Santorini"
A hypothesis will be presented making it probable that the Disc of Phaistos is the oldest document of a pictographic writing. It could have come to Crete together with Atlantian refugees after the catastrophy which destroied Atlantis. Evidently there exist close relations to the frescos excavated at Acrotiri on the island of Santorin. An interpretation of the contents will be given.
P KARTHIGAYAN, Tuberculosis Research Centre, India
"The Origin of the Atlantis Civilization through Tamil literary evidences"
Introduction: Discovering the origin of a civilization that was devastated and buried deeply by numerous deluges, is quite difficult since the depth prevents their identification and excavation. Under such circumstances, reliance on literary evidence comes to our rescue.
Epistemology: Intelligent human race existed several million years ago. They spread their wisdom to their fellow men. Their decedents discovered controlling nature and utilized power of air, gas, magnetism, etc., to enable mode of travel across earth, oceans and sky. They discovered that humans die leaving their body while the world renovates its body after natural calamities like great floods, earthquakes, etc. Their cultural literature were stored in an iron chest, preserved under deep water reservoir, so that the water bed will reduce the impact of great floods and save the literature for future generation that spread across the deformed lands of the tilted globe on all directions. Their logical penetration towards knowledge, could pave way towards stable science, which is not possible otherwise through the mundane approach. It is believed that, even the glorified races like the Greeks and Egyptians possessed lesser knowledge than this race. Their great scientific secrets were inscribed upon palm leaves and made indestructible by transforming them into stone, preserved in stony caves and thus immortalized their wisdom (This idea is supported by Chinese mythology also). Their knowledge is still evidenced on the structure of temples, scientific beliefs, nature-dependent health care traditions, and mythological faith on immortality, found in India.
Conclusion: Analyzing the above literary evidences resemble similar to that of Atlantis civilization. Since, all these literary evidences are available in Tamil, the language perfected by the immortals in ancient times, it is strongly believed that the land of the Tamils, in and around India, could be the remains of the origin of the ancient glorious Atlantis.
Ulf ERLINGSSON, Independent, USA
"A Geographic Comparison of Plato's Atlantis and Ireland as a Test of the Megalithic Culture Hypothesis"
In "Atlantis from a Geographer's Perspective: Mapping the Fairy Land" (Lindorm Publishing, 2004) I hypothesized that the Atlantean Empire was modeled on the Megalithic Culture of Europe and Northern Africa. It then followed that Ireland must have been the island of Atlantis. This was tested using two geographical tests, each of which surpassed the 95% confidence level: One regarding length and width, the other regarding the plain surrounded by mountains.
In addition to these statistically significant matches, the overall geomorphology also agrees well. Compare this quote from "The World Factbook" (2003) about Ireland: 'Mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast', with these from "Critias": 'The whole island was high and steep on the side of the sea, but at and around the city the surrounding was a plain, which in turn was surrounded by mountains that sloped down to the sea.' ... 'The hills on the island were gently rolling, and the island had an elongate shape, three thousand stadia long and two thousand across in the centre of the island.'
In fact, Ireland is about 2,960 stadia long and 2,060 across in the centre if using the megalithic yard of 0.829 m proposed by Alexander Thom. Although Ireland's dimensions are within 3% of those of Atlantis, only one significant digit was used in the dimension test.
The second statistical test concerned the fact that mountains surrounded central lowlands. Only one of the fifty largest islands on earth has that landscape: Ireland. The combined probability that Plato described Atlantis as so similar to Ireland by chance was calculated to less than 0.02%.
Considering also the similarity with Irish archaeology and mythology, the earlier sinking of Dogger Bank, and the simultaneous disappearance of the Kongemose Culture, the hypothesis is retained.
Jaime MANUSCHEVICH, University of Chile, Chile
"Atlantis was Israel"
In a meticulous investigation, published in my book "Atlantis: the deciphered myth" and supported by the most recent advances in different disciplines, I maintain that the mythical civilization existed in the Near East, its centre being located in the areas comprised by Samaria, Judea, Neguev - today Israel- and Sinai- today part of Egypt.
Until about 7,600 years ago, this territory was an island, surrounded by a sea that then included the present valley of Leesrael and the Sea of Galilee in the North; the Dead Sea in the East and the Strait of, or present Suez Canal on the West, which made it a huge island located in the Mediterranean Sea.
In that region, more than 11,500 years ago - according to Plato- the Natufian culture was born and prospered. The Natufians were the first food producers in history, which expanded in the following millennium from East to West, from the Mediterranean to the Zagros Mountains (Jarmö), and from North to South from Syria (Ugarit) to the 5th cataract of the Nile river (Badarian) including the Red Sea and Arabia, with an extension of thousands of kilometers, as the legend indicates. Towards 8,000 B.C., they founded the first cities and ports (such as Jericho, Ugarit and Jarmö). Their beginning and end are related to a global climatic change, which took place due to defrosting in the northern region of the Earth, definitively decaying c. 5,600 B.C. due to a natural catastrophe of enormous proportions in the Eastern Mediterranean (Ryan and Pitman).
Its existence generated the myth of the Atlantis, which is the origin of the Afro-Asian nations. It was also the base for the expansion of the cattle raising and crop growing civilization in the four cardinal points. And it is from them that towards the beginning of the fifth millennium B.C., the best known classic civilizations emerged: Lower Egypt (Gerzean) and Upper Egypt (Amratian), Crete (Minoan), South-East Europe (Hamangiar, Vincas, Danilo Hvar), Mesopotamia (Tell-Halaf-Uruk), India (Harappa), Yemen (Saba) and Spain (Tarsis).
Walter FRIEDRICH, University of Aarhus, Denmark
"The Santorini Volcano: Geology and Atlantis Mythos"
The Santorini Volcano in Greece is famous for its unique, water-filled caldera, the white pumice layers covering a big part of the island complex, and for the Bronze Age findings buried underneath the ashes. The Minoan eruption that took place 1645 BC destroyed a flourishing Bronze Age settlement, and - according to some scholars - Plato's account of the legendary island Atlantis is most probably linked to this volcanic catastrophe.
Since 1975 the author has performed geological research on Santorini which has resulted in a reconstruction of the pre-Minoan island. The discovery of datable limestone blocks (stromatolites) and other geological investigations showed that a substantial part of the Santorini caldera already existed prior to the Minoan eruption. The pre-Minoan island had a shape similar to the present, with a water-filled caldera and an island in the middle. This reconstruction is now commonly accepted and has successively resulted in geological and archaeological reconsiderations.
Ulrich HOFMANN, Independent Researcher, Germany
"Was Atlantis a Bronze Age Metropolis in Northafrica?"
No doubt about Plato's intension: The Atlantis tale was placed to illustrate the 'Ideal State' developed in his earlier work 'Politea'. Repeatedly that fact was used to claim the Atlantis tale was pure fiction. But neither Prehistoric Athens nor the description of Atlantis show sufficient correspondence with the Ideal State. Plato admits the Atlantis tale is unperfect but emphasizes the tale's merit: its authenticity. When Plato wrote down 'Critias' almost any greek might have visited egypt to proof the story to be right or wrong. None of the critics seems to have taken that into account.
An often neglected detail is Plato describes Atlantis to have ruled over Libya to egypt. That means Atlantis must have been located west of Libya and Libya itself must already have been part of the Atlantean territory. That coincides with a statement of Herodotus who tells about a libyan people called 'Atlantioi' living far in the west of North Africa. Also greek mythology places Atlas near lake Tritonis in western North Africa. Plato describes Atlantis as a huge island with a large central plain everywhere surrounded by high mountains. That description fits very well with the Maghreb. The high plain of Algeria is everywhere surrounded by the chains of the Atlas mountains. The shallow Atlantean sea that should have finally vanished resembles the description of lake Tritonis which today is identified with Chott el-Djerrid. Further details like the elefants of Atlantis fit very well with the west of North Africa. Infrared satellite images show a huge sunken geological structure consisting of several concentric circles recently discovered in the eastern part of the Algerian high plain. For 100 years already egyptology has knowledge of a mighty power that ruled from west up to egypt: TEHENU.
Theopi PARISAKI, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
"The Atlantis Story and Platonic Mimesis"
The events evoked by the story of Atlantis are located in a distant place and time and, therefore, do not permit verification. The vast majority of classical scholars take the story to be an invented myth. Scientists, on the other hand, have been trying to give their hypotheses a scientific basis. Since Plato is the first who wrote about Atlantis, we have to pay serious attention to his own descriptions of the story contained in the Timaeus and Critias, in order to decide whether it is a true story, a myth, a likely myth or something else.
After summarizing the ideal state of the Republic (Timaeus, 17c), Socrates asks his interlocutors to give a representation of this state in action engaged in war with other cities, and he remarks that it is very difficult for someone to imitate well in words things which he has not experienced. In the Critias (106c), Critias calls for imitation again and parallels his discourse with painting, as being both imitations or copies of reality. Given that imitation is thrice removed from reality according to the Republic, which is taken as a starting point in the Timaeus (17c, 19a, 27d ff.), one could assume that the Atlantis story is far from truth, because it is an imitation unlikely to provide all the details of reality. However, in the Timaeus the story is characterized as true both by Critias (21a) and Socrates (26e), and the same characterization is implied in the Critias (108d). In order to explain these inconsistencies, we shall have recourse to Plato's meanings of mimesis and related ideas in previous dialogues.
Timothy WYATT, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, Spain
"Constraints on the search for Atlantis"
The essentials of Plato's Atlantis are that a Bronze Age civilization was rapidly overwhelmed by water and fire. The Athenians were simultaneously swallowed by the earth. If the myth contains germs of real events, is neither fiction nor political propaganda, then any naturalistic interpretation of them is almost bound to hinge on catastrophic geological or astronomical events, and we can ask questions about when and where. Many attempts to determine a location for Atlantis have ignored the temporal and spatial considerations which must constrain a search for these details. Since the Last Glacial Maximum, there have been three major periods of rapid rise in worldwide sealevel, table I;
Time, yr BP Rise in sealevel, m
I Collapse of Laurentide and Antarctic ice sheets ~ 14000 ~ -110 à - 60
II End of Younger Dryas ~ 11500 ~ - 60 à - 25
III Release of meltwater ~ 7500 ~ -25 à +5
These estimates ignore tectonic instabilities and isostatic compensation. The first is too early to expect the kind of social organization Plato described. The second accords with Plato's figure of 9000 years before his time, but still predates the Bronze Age. The third period, but a different mechanism, is invoked to account for a version of Noah's flood. Regionally, there may have been other events less apparent in the geological record. The depths flooded tell us how deep the archaeological remains of lost cities might lie for different time horizons according to orthodox views of the magnitude of post-Pleistocene marine transgressions; putative remains of Atlantis at depths greater than say 150 m require special pleading. Classical scholars place the destruction much later than the periods listed in table I, in the second millenium. Spatial constraints are less severe than the temporal ones.
Vivi VASSILOPOULOU, Ministry of Culture, Greece
"Atlantis in the eyes of a Greek"
It is a known fact that to deal with Atlantis, no matter the topic, one needs the shoulders of Atlas, and this is no play on words. This is why when I was asked to participate in the conference, I was confident in my reply that I had no paper to present on the topic.
However, it seems that the greater the temptation, the more the number of ways one finds to succumb. I therefore found it quite easy to then recall an aspect of Atlantis that experts are possibly unfamiliar with, that is out of the ordinary: the artistic aspect. Atlantis in the Eyes of a Greek is the title of an exhibition that was held at the Titanium Gallery in May 2004 and which featured works by Christos Antonaropoulos. In his own special manner, the artist hauls the lost Atlantis from the bottom of the sea and reforms the sunken island, each pencil line rebuilding its "bones", each brush stroke binding its "flesh".
With boundaries, yet without borders, employing prose and also verse, he draws from legend and images and presents the island's "history" as it is, challenging the legendary island to emerge from the canvas. His work draws out images redolent with the oldness of the modern and the modernism of the past, like palimpsests formed over the centuries, where each layer opens a window to time. It is a voyeur and voyageur's glance at a lost paradise, a utopia.
Jacques COLLINA-GIRARD, University Aix-Marseille I, France
"The Geology of Gibraltar Strait and the Myth of Atlantis"
At the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, when the sea level was at -135 m, the Gibraltar Strait was narrower and longer than presently. It opened on a half-enclosed sea (70km x 20 km), between the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The largest Island (14 km) and its archipelago faced the Strait in this protected marine area, preceding the real Atlantic Ocean. The paleogeography changed at around 9400 years BC (11400 B.P.), due to the rapid sea level rise (4m/century during Meltwater Pulse 1A). More speculative is the possible contribution of tsunamis, historically and geologically attested in this very seismic area (cf. the Lisbon earthquake and the Holocene turbidites). In the same period, prehistoric hunter-gatherers had to adapt quickly to a major environmental crisis: global warming, general flooding, and reduction of coastal territories, redistribution of hunted animal species and cultural adaptations.
This geological history curiously evokes the Egyptian tradition, starting point of the history of Atlantis in the text of Plato (400 years BC), " Timaeus " : an island and its archipelago drowned around 9000 years before Plato, immediately off the ""Pillars of Herakles"". Therefore, one hypothesis is that the Plato myth of " Atlantis" is built on a local prehistoric tradition of flooding transmitted during 5000 years to the first Egyptian scribes around 3000-4000 BC. Ethnographical examples, observations of long time conservatism in Prehistory and testimonies of the first classical texts prove that verbal traditions could record catastrophical events over a long period. The discrepancy between the size of the island and the degree of civilisation could be interpreted in the point of view of the philosopher, illustrating his own principles, just like a novelist writes his fiction from a core of real events.
Obviously, there is a geographical and chronological correlation between the history of the real geological 'Atlantis"" of the Gibraltar Strait and the mythical story of Plato's Atlantis. Accepting the scientific value of this relationship is certainly a speculative attitude
but the coincidence seems too close to be immediately rejected.
Emilio SPEDICATO, University of Bergamo, Italy
"The Deucalion Catastrophe"
The Atlantis story and catastrophe is introduced in Plato as a much older event than the oldest catastrophe that Solon remembered, namely the Deucalion flood, which he was trying to date by counting generations, a count not given in Plato. There is a neglected statement in Orosius's STORIES AGAINST THE PAGANS that dates the Deucalion Flood, the Exodus and the invasion of India by a violent people at about the same time and attributes these events to Phaeton. In this communication we show the following:
- that the dating of Exodus at 1447 BC from internal biblical chronology is in agreement with the dating of the invasion of India by the Arians and the dating of Deucalion event by a statement in Pausanias - that Phaeton may be interpreted as a super Tunguska body that after complex and catastrophic interaction with our planet finally explodes in the sky over the river Eider in southern Denmark
- that the Exodus events and several migrations from northern Europe/northwest Siberia can be naturally explained within this context
- that the survival of Deucalion and the ""crossing"" of the Red Sea by Moses are easy consequences of the explosion of Phaeton.
Finally we observe that a mathematical modelling of the event is within reach of present numerical techniques and should be the core of an international project to be named PHAETON, of the greatest interest for the understanding of past catastrophes and possible future ones.
Dora KATSONOPOULOU, The Helike Project, Greece
"Helike and mythical Atlantis. An illuminating comparison"
A strong earthquake and huge seismic sea wave (tsunami) destroyed and submerged the city of Helike in Achaea in the winter of 373 BC.The city with its surrounding land and all inhabitants disappeared in one night during an unprecedented natural disaster, according to ancient sources. In a similar way, the land of mythical Atlantis was lost from the face of the earth, according to the descriptions of philosopher Plato.
In the present paper, the author based on literary evidence as well as on recent archaeological evidence from the site of Helike, makes an attempt to illuminate the story of legendary Atlantis. To this end, the connection with Poseidon, the god of earthquakes and the sea, and patron god of both lands is examined. Also, the possible effect of Helike's natural catastrophe on Plato, a contemporary of the event, regarding the impressive description of Atlantis' disappearance is discussed.
G.M.Facchetti, Mario NEGRI & E.Notti, IULM-Istituto di Linguistica Generale e Applicata, Italy
"Atlantis: Plato's Memories of the Aegean Culture"
The focus of this study is to trace Plato's myth back to its origins in order to attribute Atlantis to only one possible realistic location in time and space, that is to say the historical and cultural context of the Aegean. A comparative analysis of linguistic, archaeological and iconographic evidence is therefore conducted so as to recognize some distinctive features of the Minoan world which Plato seems to recall. Further clues to the Aegean ideology are also derived from an investigation of the Atlantean spatial configurations.
In the light of our current archaeological and linguistic data, the references to Atlantis given by Plato in Critias and Timaeus seem to regard the historical, political and cultural events which characterized the Aegean world. The description of an Atlantean golden age followed by a period of decline, concomitant with violent earthquakes and floods, seems therefore to constitute the memory transfigured into a myth of the terrible eruption which took place in Thera (Santorini) around 1530 B.C. Similarly, Plato's mention of a war between Atlantis and Athens could be related to the political and cultural clash between Minoa and Mycene.
Furthermore, Plato's description of the island's scenery also reflects characteristic features of the Aegean world. Atlantis is surrounded by concentric circular enclosures. Nevertheless, archaeological and architectural evidence of planned circular urban centres is scarce and mostly related to cosmological beliefs. On the other hand, the arrangement of space in Atlantis follows an archetypal pattern based on a circle-and-square dichotomy, which is widely attested in linguistic, archaeological and literary sources. More precisely, the spatial configuration described by Plato perfectly matches a geometric dualism which can be observed in the iconography and in the shape of dwellings, sacred architecture and burial techniques of the Aegean world.
Floyd W. McCOY, University of Hawaii, USA
"Reconstructing a lost island - A preliminary depiction of Thera (Santorini) before the Late Bronze Age Eruption"
In the devastating eruption of Thera (Santorini) in the Late Bronze Age (LBA), an island that hosted a Cycladic culture was destroyed. Archaeological information suggests the island was a center of trade and religion for a prosperous society; the Cycladians also left a record of their pre-eruption landscape in paintings and frescoes at the archaeological site of Akrotiri. Additional information on that ancient landscape is preserved in the geology of the Santorini archipelago today: relic alluvial fans, buried topographic features, paleosols, and residues of that destroyed landscape incorporated into the LBA eruption deposits. Combining archaeological and geological criteria with an understanding of the eruption dynamics and the progression of eruptive events during the explosion, a preliminary reconstruction of the LBA island just prior to its devastation is presented.
Jonas BERGMAN, Independent, Sweden
"Continental sized sunken island or not?"
Atlantis was, according to the modern translations of Timaeus and Critias, larger than Libya (northern Africa) and Asia-minor ( Tim. 24e, Crit 108e ) and disappeared in one day and night of extensive earthquakes and floods ( Tim. 25d ). This is one of the main reasons the story is believed to have been invented by either Plato or Solon.
Plato never used the word continent ( Greek Epeiros ), but he stated that the island was larger than Libya and Asia, which makes it continental sized. Some authors argues that Plato was refering to "greater" in the sense of a Great and Powerful Civilization, mightier than Libya and Asia combined, and not larger. They claim that it was the island of the capital city, also named Atlantis, that collapsed and disappared in the catastrophe, and not the whole island. This makes the story much more credible, but was this really what Plato had in mind when he wrote the Timaeus and the Critias?
I will now show that Plato must have been refering to the whole island, not only the capital city, and that authors already 200 years after the time of Plato believed the sunken island to be continental sized.
In the end, this has other important implications.
Stavros PAPAMARINOPOULOS, University of Patras, Greece
"Dating the catastrophe of pre-historic Athens. Evidence from Plato's Critias."
Plato wrote in the 4th century BC, when he was 52 years old, the Timaeus and Critias dialogues. In that, he describes a double catastrophe from excessive rains and an earthquake of prehistoric Athens. He also describes with many details the Acropolis of Athens and the settlements of its warriors. Archaeological excavations proved fully all these details and also illustrated the causes of the catastrophe (Bronner, 1949). The latter seems to be an earthquake which occurred in Eastern Mediterranean in the end of the Bronze Age producing an earthquake storm which lasted between 1225-1175 yr BC. The storm damaged Tiryns, Athens, Troy and a big number of other cities along major seismogenous fault lines. There is another passage again in Critias in which the consequences of the catastrophe are discussed. In that Plato discusses the survival of the Greek names up to his own period. The identification of Greek names and the Greek language in general in the Linear B tablets proved Plato's statement as well (Carpenter, 1966). Zangger's (1991) study at Tiryns illustrated fully the catastrophe as well. This passage fully proves Plato's information in connection with prehistoric Greece during the beginning of the turbulent century. It is one positive step, in understanding the enigma of Atlantis, since the latter vanished fully later together with the victorious Greeks at some unknown yet for science time interval but not away from the 12th century BC in connection with the catastrophe of Athens. Joseph (2002) reached the same conclusion for the catastrophe of Atlantis using different arguments. Foliot (1984) reaches the same conclusion too using alternative arguments. Both place Atlantis outside Hercules's pillars in West Mediterranean.
Marc-Andre GUTSCHER, IUEM - University of Brest, France
"The Destruction of Atlantis by a great earthquake and tsunami? A geological analysis of the Spartel Bank hypothesis."
Numerous geographical similarities exist between Plato's descriptions of Atlantis and a paleo-island (Spartel) in the Western Straits of Gibraltar. The dialogues recount a catastrophic event, which submerged the island around 11.6 ka in a single day and night, due to violent earthquakes and floods. This sudden destruction is consistent with a great earthquake (M>8.5) and tsunami, as experienced in the Gulf of Cadiz region in 1755, where tsunami run-up heights reached 10 m. Great earthquakes (M8-9) and tsunami occur in the Gulf of Cadiz, with a repeat time of 1500-2000 years, according to the sedimentary record. An unusually thick turbidite dated around 12 ka may coincide with the destructive event in Plato's account. The detailed morphology of Spartel paleo-island, as determined from recently acquired high-resolution bathymetric data, is reported here. The viability of human habitation on this paleo-island at 11.6 ka is discussed on the basis of this new bathymetric map.
Spyros B. PAVLIDES, Alexandros CHATZIPETROS & Eirini Galli, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
"Interpreting Myths: Catastrophism and New Catastrophism"
Atlantis rises in a new context provided by the construction of scientific knowledge. A major step towards this direction is an interdisciplinary approach in order to highlight the various aspects related to Atlantis speculation. The first problem however that a competent researcher has to confront is the myth itself. At this point the issue of interpreting myths emerges, in other words how to make sense of the past in the present. Notions of time and space in the past are not identical to those of our days. Moreover, invented traditions and re-use of ancient elements in new contexts often make fiction indiscernible from reality. Finally, Plato's reference to Atlantis does not belong to the collective imaginary; he is the only one formulating this hypothesis, thus arising spontaneous criticism when considered as historical account.
The second problem lies in the need for a theoretical framework other than that of catastrophism or recently of new-catastrophism. Volcanoes and earthquakes are seen as catastrophic occurrences which can play part in mass extinction of species, shaping of landforms or even decline of civilizations. The above-mentioned scope however, does not broaden Atlantis' horizon. Earth is in a constant state of flux. Changes in the coastline or in the direction of river-flow, high rate depositional events or slope erosion can radically alter the landscape and result in hiding traces of past cultures. Similar cases are common ground in archaeological and geomorphological research. Two examples of uncertain identification of seismic events, despite numerous historical references (Thucydides, Strabo, Pausanias, etc.) are the ones of 426 and 373 BC at northern Euboean Gulf and Helice respectively.
The use of "mythical" expression, as noted by several Plato scholars, is quite usual and consists a specific writing manner. In Plato's work however, "myth" is distinctively contrasted to "logos". The search of lost Atlantis is performed in the frame of rejuvenation of the catastrophism concept in natural sciences, as "neocatastrophism". That is, episodic ctastrophism rather than gradualism. But gradualism, known as Actualism and Uniformitarianism, is fundamental in Geology and Natural Sciences in general. Atlantis' success stems mainly on the fact that there are no firm geological or archaeological facts for the construction of a solid argument, therefore every speculation is equally valid or invalid. Atlantis hypothesis stimulates our imagination but has to base its narration on hard data rather than authoritative tradition and memory.
Monique PETERSEN, Independent, USA
"The Search for Atlantis: Ice Cores and Mammoths."
The purpose of this paper is to carefully examine certain passages within Plato's account of Atlantis and determine if they can be proved scientifically. Topics include dating the catastrophic event that sunk Atlantis by examination of ice cores and other proven dating methods; an analysis if the phrase (in Greek) "Kai de kai elephanton en en autei genos pleiston", to determine if a more precise meaning may be reached leading to the possibility Plato was describing mammoths; a study of the size of Atlantis, and what this means specifically in terms of modern landmasses of the earth; and finally, further, an examination of evidence of the catastrophic event by studying megafaunal extinctions and the implications of the layers in the soil in relation to these extinctions. Through an examination of these topics, a solution for the location of the island of Atlantis is given at the conclusion of this paper.
Filippos TSIKALAS, University of Oslo, Norway
Stavros PAPAMARINOPOULOS, University of Patras, Greece
V.V.Shuvalov, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
"The origin of the multi-ringed concentric morphology of Atlantis capitol and its relations to the Platonic scripts."
Based on Plato's scripts in the Critias unfinished dialogue (Plato, 4th cent. B.C.) about the concentric multi-ring geomorphologic features of the capitol of Atlantis, the similarity of these features with well preserved central-peak and peak-ring impact craters (e.g. Tsikalas et al., 1999), and the performed numerical simulations, we postulate that there is a close connection of Atlantis multi-ring morphology to meteorite impact-related processes.
Meteorite impacts are recognized to lead to geological processes involving vast amounts of energy and leading in near instantaneous increase in temperature and pressure, structural deformation, and in redistribution of target materials (e.g. Melosh, 1989). Based on the script descriptions, we envisage that at the time of impact the regional geomorphology fits to an alluvial/estuarine coastal depositional environment with the possibility of even top-deltaic shallow water environment. The numerical simulations of a meteorite impact in such environment reproduce in a very satisfactory manner the characteristic morphological features. In particular, the elevated ~1-km-diameter Acropolis represents the structurally elevated central-high/peak surrounded by an intense deformation within a 6-8 km diameter including morphological undulations of peak-rings of land and trough-depressions eventually filled with water.
Surrounding the region of intense central deformation, simulations can reproduce a low-plain/less-deformed region reaching a 22-24 km diameter. At the same outer diameter, a circular wall was
build by the Atlantes probably at the location of a subdued elevated final rim. Simulations have shown a possible impact-induced temperature increase in the order of 200-300 degrees (C) in the central region and thus possible development of a hydrothermal system. The occurrence of warm springs at the elevated Acropolis, as the surface outcome of this system, strongly supports the impact hypothesis. The hydrothermal system may last for as much as 10,000 yrs if one considers cooling solely due to thermal conductivity of the target material; thermal exhaustion may actually be much faster due to water circulation at the hydrothermal system itself. This estimate can be used as an indirect constraint for the approximate time of physical impact before inhabitation.
Therefore, based on the simulations and average target material properties and depending on the time of Atlantis destruction, the impact time may be placed around the end of the last glaciation or most probably at post-glacial times. As a direct consequence of the meteorite impact and the developed vast shock compression pressure, compact melt bodies and dispersed melts were produced. We envisage that the white/red/black stones described in the scripts to have been used as building material by the Atlantes, may be typical impact-related polymictic breccias and suevite, i.e. brecciated matrix material mixed with coloured macroscopic in size or dispersed impact-generated melts. Indeed at the location of some impact craters, black, red and white colour stones are found, believed to result from the pre-existing local target lithology and the impact itself. Impactitic stones have been used during Roman times in France as building material and in medieval times in Germany. Such colours of building material, without being impactites, have been used in the 24th century B.C. Egypt. This means that at least one group of prehistoric people not described by Herodotus used this exact colours for building purposes as Plato described.
Furthermore, a typical feature of several shallow-marine target impacts (e.g. 40-km-diameter Mjølnir crater, Tsikalas and Faleide, 2004; 14-km-diameter Lockne crater, von Dalwigk and Ormö, 2001; 20-km-diameter Kamensk crater, Movshovich and Milyavsky, 1990; and 4-km-diameter Kärdla crater, Puura and Suuroja, 1992) is the occurrence of near concentric erosional/depositional resurge gullies acting as inlets of water and material flow back to the crater site during the final modification cratering stages. The gullies result due to a shallow-water cover on top of the target and/or facilitated by pre-existing fracture systems. We postulate that the concentric communication channels/ploughs at Atlantis were not necessarily ideally symmetric, as described by Plato, and we relate them to impact generated resurge gullies.
Jonas BERGMAN, Independent, Sweden
"Atlantis in Morocco."
Atlantis was, according to Plato, located in front of the Pillars of Heracles ( the straits of Gibraltar ) ( Tim. 24e ). The first born child of the Atlantean god Poseidon was named Atlas and received the island of Atlantis as his lot. The second born child was named Gadeirus, and received as his lot the country facing Gadeira ( Crit. 114b ), an ancient Phoenician town and region in southern Spain. The capital city of Atlantis was located in a river delta surrounded by large plains and mountains ( Crit. 118a ). The only possible locations is the plains of Andalusia in southern Spain and the plains of Morocco. I have investigated the geography, the myths and the nature of Morocco in comparison with Plato's Atlantis.
Vasilios KAPSIMALIS, Peter Pavlakis, Dimitrios Filippas & Christos Anagnostou, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece
"The Cyclades Plateau (Aegean Sea): a lost Atlantis."
As recounted by Plato, Atlantis was an extended island, sunk after violent earthquakes and surges, some 11.5 kyr BP. This natural catastrophe was associated with the disappearance of a high-level civilization. In this context, the Cyclades archipelagos located in the central Aegean Sea can be assumed as "Atlantis" too. Our contribution, based on existing bathymetric, geophysical and sedimentary data, studies the geomorphological evolution of the Cyclades complex, since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (ca. 18-20 kyr BP). A GIS is used to reveal the morphometric characteristics and paleo-geographic changes of the area. In addition, certain prehistoric evidence of human activities is considered, for apprehending the influence of the early Cycladic culture upon the eastern Mediterranean.
The Cyclades is a shallow structural elevation (plateau), comprising many mountainous islands. The area is regarded as an almost aseismic region, surrounded however by zones of high seismic and volcanic activity. During the LGM, the Cyclades was exposed as an extended island continuum, covering an area of about 7000 km2. During the last transgression, seawater flooded progressively the plateau; hence a significant bridge of human movement disappeared.
However, Melian obsidian found in the Greek Mainland and other Mediterranean regions reveals that navigation and trade were common human activities, as early as the Mesolithic period. When the sea level reached its present position (ca. 6 kyr BP), the Cyclades had already lost some 75% of its initial land. At that time, the oldest known Neolithic settlement in the Cyclades was established in a small rocky islet (Saliagos), located between the Paros and Antiparos Islands. This settlement was probably inhabited by uphill moved human groups that forced by the sea level rise. Nowadays, coarse-grained sediments of high carbonate content cover the seabed, forming a variety of subaqueous bedforms, such as sand dunes, ribbons and ripples.
Axel HAUSMANN, Technical University of Aachen, Germany
"Atlantis - extincted on the Plateau of Malta. An ancient civilisation at the transition from Neolithics to the Bronze Age."
In the 4th millennium B.C. a powerful civilization developed in a Plane of the Plateau of Malta in the south east of Sicily. Here for the first time people differentiated their society into castes of priests, warriors, craftsmen and farmers and created writing and calculating with numbers. They invented agriculture with artificial watering, developed metallurgy and the rectangular brick for building as well as shipbuilding. Due to military superiority they succeeded in dominating also the neighbouring islands of Corsica and Sardinia and also the surrounding costal areas in Northern Africa and Western Europe.
At about 3500 B.C. the Neolithic empire perished as a consequence of earthquakes and tsunamis within one day followed by a significant rising of the sea level in the Mediterranean. However, not all inhabitants got drowned, as some of them were able to escape with their boats eastwards. They landed in the plane of Messara in southern Crete, in Egypt and Syria, from were they moved forward towards Mesopotamia. Being superior to the autochthon population by means of technology and military power the refugees founded new settlements, which later became the nuclei for the civilizations of pre-dynastic Egypt, pre-minoan Crete and Sumer.
It will be shown, that all aspects concerning Atlantis in the dialogues of Plato conform to archaeological findings of the late Neolithic civilization described. The timetable and dimensions of Plato's "Atlantis" agree with reality if they are converted in early Egyptian measures. The same holds for the exact localization of the island of Atlantis in a subtropical climate, which at that time prevailed in the Mediterranean.
A geophysical hypothesis will be given explaining the cause of the destruction of "Atlantis".
Emilio SPEDICATO, University of Bergamo, Italy
"Atlantis in Quisqueya"
In this comminication we argue that the time set by Plato for the destruction of the civilization of Atlantis, circa 9500 BC, can be accepted, being compatible with the rather abrupt end of the last great glaciation. The cause of the event was probably of extraterrestrial nature and we briefly discuss two possibilities: an oceanic impact of a large object or, more probably and within the context of the Velikovsky-Ackerman theory of great changes within the solar system in the few millennia before circa 700 BC, the close passage of a planet-size object.
After giving reasons why a civilization could develop during the last Ice Age we consider the geographical data given by Plato about the location of the capital city of the Atlantis dominion. We show that the island called by the natives QUISQUEYA, i.d. MOTHER OF LANDS, and by Columbus Hispaniola, fits very well the Platonic data, apart form a couple of changes that are easily explained by inexact transmission of information by Critias junior.
The information on Atlantis must have survived mainly in the area of the high mountains of Africa, especially if the cause of the event was the second of the two suggested possibilities.
Jaime MANUSCHEVICH, University of Chile, Chile
"Plato's geographical errors."
Atlantis has always been looked for based on antecedents provided by Solon and Plato, who ignored the real history of its civilization. Because of this, they committed serious geographical errors which rendered impossible to identify the real location of the mythical island until now.
The greatest mistake was to ignore the existence of the Red Sea, as it is established by Anaximander of Miletus, (610-545 B.C.), which drove Solon to place the island as being West of the Mediterranean, since the land was described as "beyond the Straits", and the only straits that he knew, were Messina (Sicily) and Heracles (present Gibraltar). By he not knowing about the Red Sea, he did not know of Bab el-Mandeb, Eilat and Suez. The second big mistake, based on the previous one, was to change names of places and persons in the Egyptian history. Most importantly, the one that defined the position of Atlantis, made by exchanging the name of "Punt" - Somalia - for "Tyrrhenia" - Italy and North Africa -. This error was based on the presence of the Tyrrheans or Phoenicians or Puonis in Tyrrhenia, which are the same people that had formerly inhabited the Punt. This led to the translation of the name of the territory facing to Punt, Arabia, for Europe, and that in turn, led them to change the name of the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb for Messina, and the Straits of Eilat and Suez for the Pillars of Hercules, or vice versa, indicating that this civilization had dominated Europe, when the Egyptian history was talking about Arabia.
The third great platonic mistake was to locate the island in the Atlantic Ocean. The ancient name of this sea was Okeano, until Herodotus of Halicarnassus, (484-425 B.C.) gave it its new name. It is therefore, impossible to assume that the name had been established by the Egyptians or even by Solon. It is quite evident that it was Plato who gave it the name, thereby erroneously placing the Atlantis there.
Fotis TSAKOPOULOS, University of Athens, Greece
"An archaeological concept of the mythical conflict between Atlantis and Prehistoric Athenians."
The Greek archaeologist Nikolaos Platon, in his book "Zakros. The New Minoan Palace", reports the unexpected pause in the narration of the Critias dialogue.
This takes place before the beginning of the war between the naval power of Atlantis and the political and military might of the Athenians The reason for the conflict was the arrogance of Atlantis, which gave the ivris
. The same ivris was seen in the myth of Minotavros. The ivris will constrain the Athenian king Thisseus to march against Minoan Crete.
According to the ancient Greeks ivris always brings nemessis, which finally brings catharsis. In this case, one myth completes the other. Many scientists agree that the kernel (the key) to the myth of Atlantis is Minoan naval power.
The question is did Athens have the power to oppose Atlantis and then to conquer her? What evidence is there in the excavation data about this?
Jaime MANUSCHEVICH, University of Chile, Chile
"The sea sank."
A great difficulty to decipher the Atlantis myth is the understanding of platonic texts. One of them indicates that "after wards sunk by an earthquake, became an impassable barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the ocean. (109)". One occurs generally by fact that the sunk thing is the land, nevertheless, in story lays for another direction: the desiccating of the sea. Under my theory, that Israel or Canaan was the Atlantis, this is easier to understand, because I indicate that he was exactly that what it happened, that is to say, that the sea sank, lowering his level. The desertification of the region, many other geologic data of the zone, the separation of the Dead Sea of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and the distance of the coasts of several old cities (Ur, Ugarit, and Jericho) therefore indicate it.
Today science can prove it. A work made in Colombia, call "Quaternary Variations of the Level of the Sea and Their Implications in Coast Risk of the Colombian Caribbean ", of 1997, concludes that the sea had a height superior in 2 to 3 meters at the present level makes about 2400 years A.P. Another investigation "Messages of the Past Written in the Sand", of April of the 2002, made by the University of Haifa and the Argentine Antarctic Institute, indicates that "the global height of the sea reached its present value 5.000-6.000 years ago" and "that during a lapse near 2,000 years (between 8,400 and 6,400 years before the present) it happened an important reduction of the level of the sea, that is considered in about 25 ms." For other part, Kurt Lambeck and J. Chappell, (SCIENCE) indicate that in Angerman, in the last 9000 years, the level of the water lowered 200 meters.
In conclusion, the sea lowered, flooding the region.
Stavros PAPAMARINOPOULOS, University of Patras, Greece
"The differences between myth & fiction and myth & fact
In ancient texts we read occasionally about fictions, myths and historical facts. The first category contains fictitious elements in the periphery and the center of a story which is presented for paedagogic purposes. The second category contains fictitious elements in the periphery but not in the center of a story which is a real event. This second category is divided in two sub-divisions. The first sub-division originates from direct observation of an evolving natural event not understood by the observer. The second sub-division is the description of a natural past event by the observer who adds interpretive fictitious elements attempting to interpret it. The full fictions reflect the psychological necessities of the humanity to build up " stories " and is a domain of the psychological sciences. However, both sub-divisions of the second category belong in the world of the physical sciences and their nucleus can be tested by the physical sciences after the removal of the fictitious periphery. The third category is the historical fact which is tackled by history as it was defined methodologically better than Herodotus by the brilliant Thucydides. Both types of genuine myths contain the memories or interpretations of the phaenomena of non-literal part of the humanity of the last 50,000 years. They remained in oral traditions with the assistance of some sort of rhythm up to the time of writing. Some of them also remained as signs or pictures. They are time capsules of exceptional interest waiting to be decoded.
Stavros PAPAMARINOPOULOS & Chara COSEYAN, University of Patras, Greece
"Ritual Capture and Sacrifice of the Bull at Atlantis. Are there any parallels?
Plato in his dialogue Kritias describes a ceremonial capture of bulls already in capti-vity in Poseidon's royal quarters with the assistance of a catchment device. Initially such a catchment device was taken to be the laso which have been used by the Egyptian at all epochs as sign of vitality of the practitioners Pharaohs and other high standing servants. However, the linguistic analysis of the vrochos (in Greek) leads to morotton
which is protoeuropean and means a type of a particular net associated with the bull since it is called taureia
by Esychios. It is also found associated with the word meregh used in Illyria (Albania). In Russian the word merega means a bag made from a net. Archaeological evidence illustrate bulls with wheels of 16-15th B.C. found at Psira island in Crete with a "decorative" net around the body of the animals, a possible memory of the capture of them. The Vapheio golden cups found in Peloponnesus of 15th B.C. do illustrate bulls captured by a net not necessarily the taureia meant by Esychios. The argument of the Atlantis analysts that Plato saw the laso as an art theme in Egypt, in a trip mentioned by Plutarch, is therefore removed since the meaning of the word is different in Greek. The story originates from Egypt due to Solon who visited it in the 6th B.C. but the nucleus of the bull ritual originates outside of Egypt. The capture has nothing to do with the leaping over the bull which the prehistoric Cretans were practised in the Aegean and Africa. The killing of the bull has nothing to do with the ritual sacrifice which the prehistoric and historic Greeks were practised through the aeons and similarly with Egypt. There is remarkable similarity with sacrifice of the bull in Troy in Roman times ! So far no other archaeological evidence exists round the world to demonstrate something like that. There is however a very strange ritual of the " Atlantes ", dressed in blue clothes, drinking an unknown liquid in a golden cup in which bull's blood was added. The only place in the world in which a similar practice was exercised is the circular lake Guatavita in Guatemala in South America. The Indian who is going to be appointed chief is painted first with resin and then is covered fully with gold dust. As he shines in the sun dives in the water leaving behind him a golden stream. When he reaches the other side the priests covered him with a blue cloth. As the ritual reaches the culmination, the crowd watching the ritual bursts emotionally and starts to throw golden objects into the lake ! Semiotically the points of the parallels are many turning the interest to South America since the circular lake is understood by the Indians to be made by a golden meteoritic body ! The bull's red clot of blood dropping in the " circular " golden cup is a micrograph of the falling of a meteoritic body and a very strong parallel of what the "Atlantes " were practising believed Poseidon produced in their circular lake too. The blue ceremonial dress of the chieftains Atlantes and the Indian chieftain in both cases in connection with the circular lake is an exact and remarkable similarity.
Stavros PAPAMARINOPOULOS, University of Patras, Greece
Niki DRIVALIARI, University of the Aegean, Greece
Chara COSEYAN, University of Patras, Greece
"Erytheia as 'Atlantis'. A case prior to Plato"
describing the legendary island of Erytheia surrounded by the Ocean in which an airborn Chryssaor, whose name means golden sword, the son of Poseidon
and Medousa came in erotic contact with the daughter of the ïcean Kalerroe
and produced the three head Gerion . Hesiod involves the hero of the Achaeans Heracles
who reaches Erytheia by sea with the assistance of the Sun's golden depas. Although we do not know the exact function and meaning of the golden depas, it assisted Heracles to find Erytheia in the sea. On Erytheia, in spite of the assistance, given to Gerion by the "dog" Orthos
and the shepherd Eurytion , Heracles managed to get the bulls, and killed Gerion in conflict. On the place of his tomb, as later ancient Greek writers mention, a tree grew and due to sorrow from Gerion's death produced red tears. This is a typical myth which requires stepwise analysis. In its center some true facts exist . The latter are the following. The red island, since Erytheia means red, surrounded by the ocean. The contact of the Achaeans by sea. The occupants of the island and the environment of bulls and sheep. In the periphery of the myth there are inventions because the non-literal visitors Achaeans could not comprehend, this new for them, exotic environment. Poseidon who is directly involved in an erotic contact with Cleito in Plato's " Atlantis " now in Hesiod, becomes his son Chryssaor who does exactly the same act. He has a similar contact with Kalerroe on an island in the ocean. In Plato's version Poseidon produces three concentric circles after the "meeting" with the woman. In Hesiod Chryssaor produces the three " heads " Gyrion after the meeting with the woman. We set, a new working hypothesis. It is known that Gyrion means linguistically weeping.. At the present time we are not in a position to demonstrate if the three heads were one within the others, with other words concentrically, or individually and separately placed. However, we point the presence of bulls at Erytheia, a typical fertility symbol and the erotic act of Chryssaor. We note that the symbol of the three concentric circles together with the bulls and a volcanic crater appear as a fertility symbol in Tsatal Hujuk in Turkey even from Neolithic times. With other words the same three concentric circles as in Plato's case and the erotic act of Poseidon. The case of Chryssaor's performance does not mean that people were present during its activity. It means that the prehistoric non-literal people interpreted much later the unusual site of an island with a preexisting crater when they visited the particular environment. The Heracles / Gyrion battle is an interpretive myth, illustrating with non-literal description, an island somewhere with a crater. There is a partial parallel. It is the battle between Poseidon / Polyvotis. It leads us to the description of another island with an interpretive myth of non-literal people. The island of Nisyros with the known volcanic crater in the Aegean. The bulls appear, as in Erytheia, hidden in the name of Polyvotis, the warrior son of the earth, whose name means many bulls. It seems, we have almost equalization between the two myths presented by Hesiod and Plato respectively. The orthos " dog ", whose name means upright, is the impassable of the site and therefore the structure's protector with other words Gerion's. It is an exact parallel to the impassable of the structure which Poseidon produced in Plato's Atlantis. In Hesiod's case, except of the impassable, the threatening voice of the orthos "dog " is added. We interpret this as the threatening noise of the seismic activity of the site. The red tears of the tree which grew in the position of Gerion's tomb has particular interest since it leads us where " Atlantis " was located. Such trees exist out side of the Mediterranean and produce red resin. The red resin is called Dragon's blood. The names of these plants are Calamus draco, Draconis resina and Sanquis draconis. Such a plants are distributed today in Africa, Indonesia, India, Malaysia (Daemonorops), Vietnam, Cambodia (Dracaena). The folk names in various counties are : Blood, Blume, Calamus Draco, Draconis, Resina, Sanguis Draconis, Dragon's Blood Palm. It was known to ancient Greeks, Romans, and Arabs to have medicinal properties. The ancient Greek writer Discouridis described it. Mariners of the 15th century A.D. found it in the Canaries. The exotic tree Dracena Draco is a native to the Canary islands, Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands, and the Atlas mountains in Marocco. The natives of these regions harvested the resin for mummification procedures. In spite of the fact that Hesiod does not locate his Erytheia in a way to understand its position and inspite of the fact that other authors such as Stesichoros and Pindar locate it close to the peninsula of Cadiz and Guadalkivir river in Andalusia. We propose that Hesiod's Erytheia with the previously assumed by us characteristics, as we interpret his text, does not fit with the present day island existing close to Cadiz. If Erytheia is indeed " Atlantis " then we should look for it in the places in which the tree with red resin existed in 1200 yr B.C. as the present analysis leads us. Atlantis was lost due to a very strong earthquake and a consequent giant landslide. It was the last tragic spasm of the seismic storm which acted between 1225 and 1175 yr B.C. along the main contact of the lithospheric plates of Africa and Eurasia and along the peripheral faults in East and West Mediterranean and destroyed partly prehistoric Troy, Tiryns and Athens and many other prehistoric cities and totally Hesiod's 7th century B.C. Erytheia, or Hellanicus 5th century B.C. Atlantias, or Plato's 4th century B.C. Atlantis.
Anthony KONTARATOS, Independent, Greece
"Atlantis: Review of some little known references"
This paper presents a commentary of neoplatonist Proclus on the existence of Atlantis, the Oera Linda Book on the destruction of Atlantis and the Flem-Ath theory linking Atlantis to Antarctica. The Oera Linda Book is the published version of on an ancient Friesian manuscript found in Netherlands, reporting the destruction by floods and cataclysms of a landmass, known as Atland. The Flem-Ath theory draws evidence from four sources for support: the Kircher map from alleged Egyptian sources, placing Atlantis to the South Atlantic, the similarity of Kircher's map to ice-free Antartica, the notion that Atlantis lies under the Antarctica ice cap and the Crust Displacement Theory explaining how Kircher's Atlantis found its way from the hospitable temperate South Atlantic to the inhospitable frozen South Pole.
Stavros PAPAMARINOPOULOS, University of Patras, Greece
"Plato's Phaethon and Homer's Phaethousa. Cometary Fragments in the 12th Century B.C."
Plato, in Timaeos, describes the story of the inadequate son of the sun who mimics his father and calls him Phaethon (visible). The latter burns the earth. Plato refuses the element of the myth in this story. The definition of the phaenomenon by Plato is very close to the modern astronomical understanding of a comet. The association of the comet with the 12th century B.C. originates with the proved catastrophe marked in Athens by an earthquake and excessive rain mentioned by Plato at Critias. Homer describes allegorically the appearance of a comet as the shining flying goddess Athena coming from the west to the Troad. He also calls the female and male presentation of the comet as Phaethousa and Phaethon respectively. In fact he presents them together with another flying entity called Lambetia and Lampos meaning (shining) as female and male respectively. He also describes allegorically the comet in two instances. The first is the battle of a red dragon with a white eagle and the second is the battle of Athena throwing a stone in the " neck " of god Aris during the combat between Greeks and Trojans. The female and male appearance of the celestial phaenomenon is an optical illusion seeing by the same people just minutes before sunset and immediately after dawn. Kobres (1992,1995) in his innovative studies about the Phaethon's ride collected all possible myths round the world corresponding about the 12th century B.C. and made a mathematical simulation of the possible trajectory of the comet approaching earth. The later for few hours was admired by priest observers from different latitudes of different cultures in the same century as it was interacting with the atmosphere. In order to prove physically the existence of Phaethon's effect, on some area of the planet, one needs to collect samples from studied stratigraphies in which the horizon of the 12th century B.C. belongs outside of burnt palaces. If a burnt horizon exists in past forests then one could not count it as the result of the action of an earthquake or even of accidental fires. The scale of the burnt palaces and the absence of attacking warriors in the East Mediterranean in the 12th century B.C., except Troy's case, could not be interpreted as accidental fires. It seems that both writers Homer and Plato describe a complementary view of the 12th century B.C. from different angles.The collapse of the late Bronze Age kingdoms in East Mediterranean is the result of the earthquake storm, of Phaethon and of the Sea People. There is not change in the climate in the East Mediterranean as Carpenter (1966) had theorized, but uneven disturbances during Phaethon's ride which introduced short but severe hardships in the economies of the suffered countries. Baillie and Munro (1988) found an anomalous tree ring precipitation change in the 12th century B.C. in Irish trees. Hodell (1991) found a mark of drought in the climate of the Caribbean in the same century. Both studies illustrate the complexity and the bipolarity of the effect of the comet as it interacted with the Earth without crashing on it. The request for details studies in climatic perturbation in the 12th century B.C. is a necessity. The vanished Atlantis belongs in that unique in violence of nature and of people century.
Rosario VIENI, Former High School History Professor, Italy
"11,500 years ago."
The Columns of Hercules, Odysseus, Taboo, and the ancient dream of man.For us today the extreme border is represented by the cosmos... our ancestors however believed this border to be found in the waves of Ossidiana near the extremity of this western sea: an unknown sea at that time.For the Greeks the first border was represented by the Bosporus (cfr. the myth of Giasone); then Sicily (cfr. the Odyssey of the first navigators); and finally the central part of the Mediterranean Sea.At the end of the glacial period of the Wurmiano, the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea was separate from the western part. There were two enormous basins of water whose levels were, however, different: the lower level was at least 150 meters.And the coasts of the emerged earths were nearer to each other, nearer than they are now.
Diamantis PASTRAS, Atenfoods, Australia
"Final solution to the question of Atlantis"
The site of atlantis was situated,at what today are the remains of the Cyclades and Astipalea,with its sister island of what is today called Crete(it had a different name 3500 years ago,seeing that the ancient egyptians beleived that crete sunk into the sea,it cannot have been the crete of today).There is an ancient egyptian map(from the egyptian book of the dead) in the british museum over 3500 years it consists of two islands on of which is disected by a river 1000(plethera-should be stades)200km fits the area of the cyclades and astipalaea perfectly,you can also super impose the egyptian map over this area, it fits almost perfect to scale.
Zdenek KUKAL, Czech Geological Survey, Czech Republic
"Atlantis problem - never ending conlict between Science & Fiction"
Recently published views on possible location of Plat´s Artlantis (Strait of Gibraltar, Cyprus, Troy, Egypt, Black Sea floor, Spain) have rejuvenated the problem of Atlantis.Principal question is as follows: Do we search for real Plato´s Atlantis, as described in his dialogues Timaios and Kritias, or for any lost unknown civilization ? Irt is clear that most of authors do not adher to the exact Plato´s description which includes:a) Plato asserts that an advanced civilization existed on the island of Atlantis.b) Plato described the size, landforms, architecture, and military strength of the Atlanrtis.c) Plato specified, but very vaguely, the Atlantis location.d) Plato described also social order and system of government in the Atlantis.e) Plato descibed also the destruction of this civilization but only in general.Taking into account all these pieces of information, it follows that the Plato´s Atlantis is a pure fiction. Additional problem arises what was Plato´s objective in mind and which echoes of Plato´s own time and immediate past his description mirrors.Geological constraints are of primary importance in searching for any traces of lost ancient civilization. So, all the possible natural catastrophes have to be analysed, as volcanic eruptions, tectonic movements, seismicity, tsunamis, catastrophic sedimentation, asteroiid impacts, etc , which could have caused the desctruction of ancient civilizaion or part of it. The NMediterranean Sea sis a good candidate for discovering of some ancient monuments that were destroyed "in a single day and night of misfortune".
Anthony KONTARATOS, Independent, Greece
"Atlantis: Fact or Fiction?"
Plato's story is examined from a reliability point of view. He is repeating in his two dialogues twenty two times that his story is true. The archaeological evidence, however, is negative on all counts. Three mechanisms can be identified that can give rise to the geomorphology described. As to the whereabouts of Atlantis ten criteria are proposed to help identify its resting site. None of the sites suggested fulfills all ten criteria in the past and the present.
Christos DOUMAS, Akrotiri Excavations, Greece
"The Search for Atlantis - The Utopia of a Utopia"
It is true that if his Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias had never been written or had been lost, nobody would talk today about this supposedly lost continent. That this continent is a creation of the Athenian Philosopher as an instrument to promote his views on political philosophy is confirmed by its complete ignorance by the entire ancient Greek literature. The author considers any modern involvement in this subject as pure science fiction and totally unscientific.
George VOUGIOUKALAKIS, Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration, Greece
Michael FYTIKAS, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
"The Minoan Eruption of the Santorini Volcano and the Atlantis Hypothesis"
Santorini is one of the world's most violent caldera volcanoes. Over a hundred explosive eruptions were manifested during the last 400.000 years. The last one of them was the so-called Minoan eruption, which was manifested at about 1630 BC, burying the flourished late Bronze-Age settlements of the island, triggering a caldera collapse and shaping Santorini to its present form. This eruption has been accused as responsible for the destruction of the Minoan civilization on Crete, and is also largely involved in the Atlantis hypothesis.
The exact age of the eruption continue to be a controversy between some archaeologist and geoscientist, as the first argue for a later age (1450-1500 BC) than the latter (1620-1640 BC). Another point, not clear yet, is what happened to the Santorini inhabitants. Excavations on Akrotiri did not find any corps of eruption victims up to now.
From both archaeological and volcanological studies in the Akrotiri area is now clear that the eruption was preceded by large earthquake activity, a few tens of days or weeks before the onset of the eruption.
The time between the precursory events and the onset of the main eruption is estimated from us to be too short to permit most of the people to leave the island!
2500 years before present, Plato registered in his classic operas the Atlantis hypothesis: the presence of an advanced civilization 11500 years before present, which was destroyed by a large catastrophic event in a very short time (during a day and a night), sinking in the ocean that surrounded that land.
Since the 17th century, a lot of philosophers, classical and natural scientists posed the three main questions that remain yet without a clear answer: If Atlantis existed, where and when!
We discuss these open questions interpreting the Atlantis hypothesis as a witnesses of a "common collective memory" of the past regarding the Minoan eruption. Plato used all the knowledge of his epoch on the Minoan civilization and the Santorini Minoan eruption to formulate the Atlantis hypothesis, exaggerating in both extension and achievements for giving to his ideas a stronger support for better didactic results.