Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Mystery of the sunken city of Atlantis Part.II

In the decade that followed, more theories bubbled to the surface, placing Atlantis everywhere from Tibet to the Amazon basin to the Bahamas. But the most plausible account situated the island in the vicinity of Greece.

Modern day seismologists and volcanologists have scoured the historical record to find an event of such cataclysmic proportions that it could literally destroy an entire civilization, and the promising match occurred in an island in the Aegean Sea. Some 3500 years ago, a tremendous explosion rocked the island of Kalliste, now known as Satorini, the southern most of Cyclades Islands. The eruption had a force of 500 to 1000 atomic bombs and deposited ash over an area greater than 300000 square miles. Kalliste was an outpost of the larger island of Crete, which was then at the height of its decadence. In fact, archeologists have excavated the ruins of magnificent cities that seem to match the ones described by Plato in his dialogues. The eruption on Kalliste created tidal waves that quickly spread to Crete, destroying many of its ports, including its magnificent capital, Knossos –in its time, the largest city in the eastern Mediterranean. Crete never recovered and soon waned in power- interestingly, a trajectory of rise and fall quiet similar to that of Atlantis.

 So how did the legend emerge? In the dialogues, Critias claims he heard the tale from his great grandfather, who traces the story back to Egypt. Egyptians were not themselves a seafaring people, but they did trade extensively with Cretans and had no doubt heard tales of Crete’s grandeur. After the eruption, when the Cretan ships suddenly disappeared, it might have seemed to Egyptians as if Crete simply vanished. Ti is quite possible that over time, the idea amassed the barnacles of narrative embellishment and was transformed into the legend of the Lost City of Atlantis.

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