Atlantis
A team of scientists say they have found the lost city of Atlantis somewhere in Spain, but this claim is hotly contested. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A team of scientists may have discovered the mythical city of Atlantis, which has long been assumed to be a legend. Ruins of a city built in a series of rings were seen via satellite, which tipped off scientists as fitting the description of Atlantis by the philosopher Plato. However, the findings are disputed, and Atlantis has supposedly been found by others before.

Hartford University professor sees Atlantis in ancient rings in the mud

Professor Richard Freund, of Hartford University in Connecticut, believes that he and his team of researchers have stumbled on to the ruins of the mythical city of Atlantis. A documentary about the search, called “Finding Atlantis,” is premiering on the National Geographic Channel on Tuesday, March 15, according to MSNBC. The ruins that Freund and his team believe are the ruins of Atlantis, according to Popular Science, were discovered in 2004 by Dr. Rainier Kuhne, a German physicist. Dr. Kuhne saw geometric shapes including concentric rings and rectangles in satellite photos of the swamps near the mouth of Guadalquivir River, near the Atlantic coast of Spain and the Straits of Gibraltar. The location and layout both coincide with the only description of the city.

Plato’s description of Atlantis

The first and only known description of Atlantis came from the Greek philosopher Plato, in his “dialogues.” He describes the city being located near the “Pillars of Hercules,” now known as the Pillars of Gibraltar, which mark the entrance from the Atlantic Ocean into the Mediterranean Sea. Plato’s description dates to about 360 B.C. and is the only known description of the city on record. He said the city was “destroyed in a single day and night,” which Dr. Freund attributes to a tsunami — one powerful enough to reach 60 miles inland.  The physical description that Plato gave mentions a city of concentric rings and extensive canals that was destroyed in roughly 9,000 B.C.  Dr. Freund and his team also pointed to similar sites located several hundred miles away with smaller replicas of the found ruins, which he attributed to survivors building monuments to their destroyed home.

Separate research team blasts discovery

The “discovery” by Dr. Freund was blasted by a Spanish research team that was working in the area, according to the Telegraph. A team of Spanish archaeologists and anthropologists have been working in the same area since 2005, digging for artifacts from the Tartessos, who settled in what is now southern Spain in the first millennium B.C. The Tartessians were renowned for their mining prowess. Mining pits are often dug in concentric circles. Several sites have been hypothesized to be Atlantis before, and “Atlantis” has previously been found off Cyprus, South America and Antarctica in the past.

Sources

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42072469/ns/technology_and_science-science/?GT1=43001

Popular Science: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-03/scientists-say-theyve-found-lost-city-atlantis-swept-away-tsunami

The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/8381219/Lost-city-of-Atlantis-buried-in-Spanish-wetlands.html

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