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Atlantis is a legendary city described by the Greek philosopher Plato (c. Atlantis, a fabulously wealthy and advanced civilization, was swept into the sea and lost forever in a story which has captured the imagination of readers ever since. Without archaeological evidence or substantial information from sources besides Plato, the legend poses more questions than answers.
Was there a real Atlantis? Was the story based on the ancient Minoan civilization? Was the disaster that swept away the city the eruption of Thera on Santorini in the Aegean, or was the whole story a fiction of Plato's to illustrate the glory of his own city of Athens and provide a moral example of what happened to cities who became greedy and neglected the rule of law? If it had been a real state then who founded it? Why do we know so little about it? Where is it now? These are all questions endlessly speculated by scholars and history enthusiasts without any satisfactory answers ever being reached.
The story of Atlantis first appears in Plato's Timaeus, one of his later works. The dialogue's title derives from its protagonist, a fictional Pythagorean philosopher from Southern Italy who discusses the soul with Socrates. This particular dialogue is not a philosophical one, though, but rather an exercise in sophistry and involves an extremely long monologue by Timaeus on the creation of the world. Philosophical ideas are discussed but the age-old question arises of what exactly are Plato's ideas and which are merely those of his characters? The passage on Atlantis is actually spoken early in the dialogue by Critias, a Sophist who lived c. 460 to 403 BCE. Significantly, Critias, like all Sophists (as Plato himself explained in his Phaedrus dialogue), presents his ideas with exaggeration and embellishments to capture the attention of the listener and convey the essence of the ideas only. All is opaque, nothing is exact. Whatever literary means necessary must be taken to express complex philosophical ideas and make them more understandable. It is, perhaps, with this in mind, that one should read the Atlantis myth.
Plato uses whatever literary means necessary to Best express His philosophical ideas. It is, perhaps, with this in mind, that one should read the Atlantis myth.
Critias' story is introduced by another guest Hermocrates (a historical general from Syracuse) who urges Critias to tell his story "that goes back a long way" (20d). Critias begins by emphasising his story is true and was vouched for by Solon, the Greek statesman and poet who lived c. 640 - c. 560 BCE. Critias acknowledges his story is "a very strange one, but even so, every word of it is true" (20d). He says that Solon told it to his friend Dropides, Critias' great-grandfather, and it was passed on down the family generations. Solon, we are told, heard the story on his travels in Egypt, specifically by priestly scholars at Sais, and had meant to put it in writing but never found the opportunity. Critias would like to tell the story because it illustrates one of Athens' greatest ever achievements but has, unfortunately, been forgotten over time due to its great antiquity, according to the Egyptian priests, 9,000 years before Plato.
The great achievement of this ancient Athens is described by Critias as he quotes the priest speaking directly to Solon:
The records speak of a vast power that your city once brought to a halt in its insolent march against the whole of Europe and Asia at once - a power that sprang forth from beyond, from the Atlantic Ocean. For at that time this ocean was passable, since it had an island in it in the front of the strait that you people say you call the 'Pillars of Hercules.' [Strait of Gibraltar] This island was larger than Libya and Asia [for the Greeks at that time Asia was the Nile to the Hellespont] combined, and it provided passage to the other islands for people who travelled in those days. From those islands one could then travel to the entire continent on the other side, which surrounds that real sea beyond. Everything here inside the strait we're talking about seems nothing but a harbour with a narrow entrance, whereas that really is an ocean out there and the land that embraces it all the way around truly deserves to be called a continent. Now on this Isle of Atlantis a great and marvellous royal power established itself, and ruled not the whole island, but many of the other islands and parts of the continent as well. What's more, their rule extended even inside the strait, over Libya as far as Egypt, and over Europe as far as Tyrrhenia [central Italy]. Now one day this power gathered all of itself together, and set out to enslave all of the territory inside the strait, including your region and ours, in one fell swoop. Then it was, Solon, that your city's might shone bright with excellence and strength, for all humankind to see. Preeminent among all others in the nobility of her spirit and in her use of all the arts of war she first rose to the leadership of the Greek cause. Later, forced to stand alone, deserted by her allies, she reached a point of extreme peril. Nevertheless, she overcame the invaders and erected her monument of victory. She prevented the enslavement of those not yet enslaved, and generously freed all the rest of us who lived within the boundaries of Hercules. Sometime later excessively violent earthquakes and floods occurred, and after the onset of an unbearable day and a night, your entire warrior force sank below the earth all at once, and the Isle of Atlantis likewise sank below the sea and disappeared. That is how the ocean in that region has come to be even now unnavigable and unexplorable, obstructed as it is by a layer of mud at a shallow depth. The residue of the island as it settled. (Timaeus, 24e-25e, transl. D.J.Zeyl)
Critias then explains that the previous day's discussion with Socrates (presumably the Republic) and talk of an ideal city and the political institutions proposed by the great philosopher had reminded him of the story. He then proposes to use the story as a basis of that day's discussion. Socrates agrees as it is just then the celebration of Athens' patron goddess Athena and, further, "it's no made-up story but a true account" (26e), says Socrates. In fact, though, Atlantis is not mentioned again and Timaeus proceeds to give a long speech on the origin of the universe and humanity. None of the other characters speak again.
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The Atlantis story crops up again, this time in more detail, in Plato's Critias, the dialogue named after our story-telling Sophist of the Timaeus. This work follows on from the conversation of Timaeus, and now Critias will present the theories of Socrates' ideal state in the context of a real city, that of Athens 9,000 years ago. He will thus show how these institutions allowed the Athenians to defeat a technologically advanced civilization from Atlantis and prosper thereafter. The dialogue is incomplete as Critias' speech does not go as far as the war between Athens and Atlantis and trails off mid-story, and the fourth character, Hermocrates, does not get his turn to speak, despite Socrates indicating at the beginning that he would.
Critias begins his speech thus,
We should recall at the very beginning that, in very rough terms, it was some 9,000 years since the time when a war is recorded as having broken out between the peoples dwelling outside the pillars of Hercules and all those dwelling within. This war I must now describe. Now they said that this city of Athens was the ruler of the [Mediterranean] peoples and fought for the duration of the entire war. They said, too, that the kings of the island of Atlantis were the rulers of the other peoples. This island, as we were saying [in Timaeus], was at one time greater than both Libya and Asia combined. But now because of earthquakes it has subsided into the great Ocean and has produced a vast sea of mud that blocks the passage of mariners who would sail into the great Ocean from Greek waters and for this reason it is no longer navigable. (Critias, 108e-109a, transl. D. Clay)
Atlantis reappears a few pages after a description of how the gods Athena and Hephaistos were given Athens to govern, the early life of that city and her ancient kings:
So it was that Poseidon received as one of his domains the island of Atlantis and he established dwelling places for the children he had fathered of a mortal woman in a certain place on the island I shall describe. (ibid 113c)
There then follows a lengthy and detailed description of Atlantis. The island was mountainous and rose straight from the sea. It had fertile central plains with a central hill surrounded by rings of sea and land which were created by Poseidon to protect his people. We are told that the first king was Atlas and so the land called Atlantis and the ocean around it the Atlantic. The race prospered over many generations and they conquered the lands around the Mediterranean.
The land of Atlantis produced trees, metals, abundant food, and was inhabited by many creatures, including elephants. The people of Atlantis lived well, they domesticated animals, irrigated their crops, cities were built with harbours and fine temples, bridges and canals with walls and gates were constructed to join the rings of sea around the island. These latter were then decorated with bronze and tin; such was the abundance of resources. At the centre of the city was a temple to Poseidon which was faced with silver in its entirety and given a roof of ivory. The whole complex was then surrounded by a wall of pure gold and decorated with golden statues. The city had fountains of hot and cold water, bathhouses, gymnasia, a horse racing track, and a huge fleet of warships. The population was enormous and the army could field a force of 10,000 chariots. Religious practices are then described and these involve the chasing and sacrifice of bulls.
Quite simply this race on Atlantis was the most populous, technologically advanced, powerful and prosperous ever seen. Yet their decline would be swift and dramatic:
Yet inwardly they were filled with an unjust lust for possessions and power. But as Zeus, god of the gods, reigning as king according to law, could clearly see this state of affairs, he observed this noble race lying in this abject state and resolved to punish them and to make them more careful and harmonious as a result of their chastisement. To this end he called all the gods to their most honoured abode, which stands at the middle of the universe and looks down upon all that has a share in generation. And when he had gathered them together he said… (ibid, 121b-c)
And there the story is interrupted and the Critias text ends. We know, though, from the previous references earlier in the Critias and in the Timaeus that Atlantis was defeated by the Athenians in a war and Atlantis was swept into the sea by earthquakes and floods never to be seen again.
Interpretation of Atlantis
Plato, then, at least at face value, introduces the story of Atlantis only to show that ancient Athens was a great city and its people with their rule of law were able to defend their liberty against an aggressive foreign power. That, at least, is the intention of Critias, the character. There is certainly a moral side to the story too, that greed for wealth and power will only bring destruction.
As a metaphor, the Atlantis story and Athens' victory may represent the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE when the Greeks had famously defeated the invading Persian army of Darius. The metaphor of Greeks fighting 'barbarians' represented as mythical creatures such as centaurs was already evident in Greek art prior to Plato. Does the 'forced to stand alone' reference the absence of the Spartans at Marathon perhaps?
And what of the physical location of Atlantis? Many consider the island and its disappearance inspired by the volcanic eruption, earthquakes, and consequent tsunamis on the Aegean island of Thera in the late Bronze Age which destroyed that particular culture and sank most of the island. Thera with its extensive trade network and fine arts would surely have been considered advanced and prosperous by contemporary civilizations. What better way to remember this shocking extinction than by a colourful myth? The sheer mountains description of Atlantis would certainly fit that of a volcanic island but its size and location in the Atlantic do not fit with Thera.
Then there is the mention of chasing and sacrificing bulls in Atlantis. Could this reference the well-documented practice on Minoan Crete where bull jumping, worship, and iconography pervade the archaeological record? Plato's next dialogue, according to many scholars, was (coincidentally?) titled Minos after the island's legendary king, admired by Plato for his law-making skills.
Other ancient authors after Plato were interested in the tale of Atlantis starting with Crantor (c. 335-275 BCE). He was a philosopher in Plato's Academy who wrote a celebrated commentary on the Timaeus and held the Atlantis story to be literally true. Atlantis reappears in the work of the Greek biographer Plutarch (c. 45 – c. 125 CE) who reiterates in his biography of Solon that the famous law-giver had wanted to document the story for posterity:
Solon also attempted to write a long poem dealing with the story or legend of the lost Atlantis, because of the subject, according to what he had heard from the learned men of Sais in Egypt, had a special connection with Athens. He finally abandoned it, however, not, as Plato suggests, for lack of time, but rather because of his age and his fear that the task would be too much for him. (Solon, 75)
And so it goes on over the centuries, through the Renaissance and Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Thomas More's Utopia, and right up to the present day with countless retellings and embellishments, and theories ranging from the plausible to the ridiculous, posed, debated, rejected, and debated again.
The tale of Atlantis leaves many questions which have only tantalizing hypotheses as answers. Perhaps, then, we would do well to remember that Plato was not a historian but a philosopher, that he frequently used similes and metaphors to express his thoughts, and that, in his own words, delivered from the mouth of Critias: "It is inevitable, I suppose, that everything we have all said is a kind of representation and attempted likeness" (Critias 107b).
Atlantis as It Was Told in Plato's Socratic Dialogues
The original story of the lost island of Atlantis comes to us from two Socratic dialogues called Timaeus and Critias, both written about 360 BCE by the Greek philosopher Plato.
Together the dialogues are a festival speech, prepared by Plato to be told on the day of the Panathenaea, in honor of the goddess Athena. They describe a meeting of men who had met the previous day to hear Socrates describe the ideal state.
Atlantis is an alternate history series written by Harry Turtledove.   The point of divergence occurs around 85 million years ago when the eastern portion of the North American continent splits off from the rest of the continent and forms Atlantis, a separate continent farther east in the Atlantic Ocean.
|Published||2005–2010 ( 2005–2010 )|
In addition to the three novels, two short stories Audubon in Atlantis (2005) and The Scarlet Band (2006) were written prior to the novels and they would later be reprinted in Turtledoves short story collection Atlantis and Other Places (2010).
The point of divergence from our timeline occurs around 85 million years ago when the eastern portion of the North American continent (roughly consisting of the present day Eastern Coast of the United States, extreme Southern Canada, Cuba and Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and various smaller Caribbean islands) splits off from the rest of the continent and forms Atlantis, a separate continent farther east in the Atlantic Ocean.
History would remain more or less the same as in real life until around 1452, when Atlantis is visited for the first known time by humans. The first known people to arrive on Atlantis are Breton fisherman François Kersauzon and his crew of the Morzen (French for Mermaid). He promises a fellow fisherman, Englishman Edward Radcliffe, to guide him to the location in exchange for a third of his load of cod that year. Radcliffe would agree to the deal and eventually returned with his family and a few others to create a settlement, New Hastings. Soon afterwards, Kersauzon would found his own city, Cosquer, and Basque fishermen would erect their own town of Gernika in the south. These settlements in turn gave birth to, and were ultimately eclipsed by, substantial English, French, and Spanish colonial holdings on the island.
The descendants of Edward Radcliffe would play major roles throughout the history of Atlantis. While the Kersauzon family would continue to have roles in Atlantian society, they would be distant second when compared with the Radcliffes (or Radcliffs one branch would dropped the 'e' from the name).
In the early years of settlement, Edward Radcliffe's son Henry would be the first person to navigated the west coast of Atlantis, while Henry's brother Richard would routinely cross over the Green Ridge Mountains on foot.
In 1470, King Edward IV would banish Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick to Atlantis. The Earl would attempt to institute himself as the Lord of New Hastings. Resistance on the part of Richard Radcliffe led to the death of his father Edward Radcliffe. The Radcliffe sons were able to gather enough support to defeat and kill Warwick at the Battle of the Strand. This would be the first instance of rebellion taking place in Atlantis.
By the 1660s, Avalon had become the home of a number of pirates, the most notorious of these being Red Rodney Radcliffe. He and his pirate crew on the Black Hand would launch attacks on Spanish and Dutch colonies in Terranova (the name of the rest of North and South America) and English Atlantis. Shipping lines across the Hesperian Gulf were in such danger that England and Holland would pool their resource and work together. Under the leadership of William Radcliff (the second cousin to the pirate), the Avalon pirates were beaten with great success.
In 1761, the Seven Years' War in Europe had spread to Atlantis, with British Atlantis (formerly English Atlantis) going to war with French and Spanish Atlantis. The fighting on the Atlantis Front was ultimately brief when compared with other fronts, though when it was done, French Atlantis was no more and was absorbed into British Atlantis.
Victor Radcliff was the highest ranking Atlantean on the British side. Thanks to his decisive actions, British commander, Charles Cornwallis was able to decisively defeat French general Louis-Joseph de Montcalm (who was killed in action in 1761) and French Atlantean commander Roland Kersauzon.
The victory in the war had long term consequences. The financial cost of the victory was quite high for the Kingdom of Great Britain, and it sought to recoup that loss by taxing its Atlantean subjects. Moreover, French Atlantis had relied heavily on chattel slavery, and its perpetuation was crucial in keeping French subjects placated, particularly as British settlers made their way south after the war.
By 1775, the Atlanteans were fed up with British taxation, and with that, the Atlantean War of Independence began. The war would last for three years and ended in 1778. With Victor Radcliff in command, and with the eventual aid of France, Atlantis secured its independence as the United States of Atlantis. Upon its independence, the United States of Atlantis would adapt a republican government based upon the Roman Republic.
Despite securing a peace with the British, the United States of Atlantis came to blows with them again in 1809 after Atlantis provided aid to rebellions in Terranova. The War of 1809 ended as a draw between Atlantis and the United Kingdom, although arguably Atlantisreceived a substantial defeat at several points.
The ideals of the War for Independence did not translate into an end of slavery. Slavery was deemed too important in what used to be French Atlantis to be meddled with. It even expanded, when Atlantis purchased Gernika, Spain's mainland Atlantean possession.
Enslaved African Atlanteans and Copperskin Terranovans continued to seek their freedom, through various uprisings they started were quickly crushed. Finally, in 1852, under the leadership of Frederick Radcliff, the illegitimate grandson of Victor Radcliff, Atlantis saw an insurrection similar to the American Civil War that so vast and so well organized that it could not be put down without the whole country paying a too expensive price in blood and treasure. The insurrection forced the Atlantean Senate to abolish slavery once and for all.
The remainder of the 19th century would be relatively calm in Atlantis. From its very beginning, Atlantis paid lip-service to egalitarianism. Thus, people from all over the world would immigrate to Atlantis. It also placed emphasis on religious toleration. Consequently, a new Atlantean form of Christianity appeared in the early 19th Century called the House of Universal Devotion. Its founder, Samuel Jones, held that God lived in all people, and that, if we simply lived the proper lifestyle, we might overcome our limitations and become divine. The House was vocally anti-slavery well before the Great Insurrection. In the 1880s, a cabal of the Atlantean establishment, disgusted with how quickly the House had grown, attempted to implicate Jones in the murder of several critics. When the plot was unraveled by a British consulting detective, Atlantean society grew concerned that the House was now insulated from criticism
- ^"Uchronia.net Atlantis Series".
- "PenguinRandomHouse.com Atlantis".
- "Fantastic Fiction.com Opening Atlantis".
- "Fantastic Fiction.com The United States of Atlantis".
- "Fantastic Fiction.com Liberating Atlantis".
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Lands that come and go
It now seems that Zealandia and Greater Adria are just two recent examples of what was once a regular Atlantis-like process. Continents were not always stable fixtures of our planet, according to University of Adelaide geophysicist Derrick Hasterok. Early in our planet’s history, more than 2 billion years ago, they were fragile and transient things, easily crumbling, fracturing, or simply eroding away.
The surprising reason for all this instability? Radioactivity. The Earth was born with a lot more radioactive elements than it has now (much of them have since decayed away), Hasterok says, and those elements preferentially collect in continental rocks. When the first continents formed, they sowed the seeds for their own demise. The only way he knows they ever existed is by the curious lack of high-radioactivity rocks in the modern continents. Those rocks don’t exist, because the continents in which they lived are long gone.
Atlantis: Myth or History?
By Holly Hartman
For centuries, Atlantis has been one of the western world's favorite legends, a tantalizing blend of fantasy and mystery. Stories tell of a rich and glorious empire that was lost to the sea?where some hope its ruins still lie, waiting to be discovered.
A Lost Paradise
Most of the information we have about Atlantis comes from the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. He says that Atlantis lay west of the Pillars of Hercules (rock formations at the Straits of Gibraltar), in the Atlantic Ocean. On this huge island was a "great and wonderful empire" where brave, virtuous people lived in a kind of paradise.
But this peaceful existence came to an end when the people of Atlantis began to love power more than they loved the gods. They waged war against the rest of the world, but were ultimately defeated by the wise and moral Athenians. Then, some 9,000 years before Plato's own time, or around 9,500 B.C.E., earthquakes sunk Atlantis into the sea.
In Search of Atlantis
There is no proof that Atlantis ever existed. Many people believe that Atlantis was just a legend, told by Plato to praise the values Athenian society held dear. But others believe that the storied island was based in fact. Some have argued that Atlantis was in the Americas, or in the Canary Islands, or in Antarctica. Others think Atlantis was in fact the Greek island of Thera?a theory fed by recent archaeological discoveries.
The Thera Theory
In the late 1960s Professor Spyridon Marinatos discovered the remains of a Bronze Age city near Akrotiri, on the island of Thera (Santorini). The city's streets, buildings, pottery, and colorful wall paintings prove that it was a wealthy society much like the Minoan civilization of nearby Crete. But around 1500 B.C.E., a devastating volcanic eruption?far greater than the one that covered Pompeii?buried the city under 15 feet of ash.
Was Thera the land of Atlantis? Some believe that Plato was indeed describing Thera, but that he was wrong about its location and the date of its destruction?or that translations of his writings have been misunderstood. If Plato did not completely make up the story of Atlantis, it probably has its origins in ancient Egyptian records that told of the events at Thera.
Atlantis Tours Unlimited
It is easy to understand the desire to find archaeological proof of Atlantis. Who wouldn't want to be able to visit the remains of paradise on Earth? Today, the Atlantis legend helps bring tourists to Thera by the boatload. Visitors enjoy black sand beaches, archaeological sites, and dramatic volcanic cliffs. And the weary can rest their feet at the Hotel Atlantis.
Atlantis and the Edgar Cayce Readings
For some years A.R.E. members and the organization itself have conducted expeditions in search of ruins or any remains of the lost continent of Atlantis. According to Cayce, Atlantis—located from the Gulf of Mexico to Gibraltar—was destroyed in a final catastrophic event circa 10,000 B.C. The focus of A.R.E. efforts has been in the Bimini area, however, other related locations have also been investigated. Research on the so-called Bimini Road has been hampered as researchers are split on the origin of the structure: some believe it is a manmade road or foundation while others assert it is natural beach rock, which fractured in place. However, a seldom-discussed fact is that a portion of the Bimini Road was removed after a hurricane in 1926.
Before the end of the last Ice Age (12,000-years ago) the ocean levels were at least 300 feet below their current levels. A vast "island" was in the area in those remote times rather than chains of islands. Edgar Cayce referred to Bimini as one of the mountaintops of ancient Atlantis. While few would consider the island a mountain, 12,000-years ago it was one of the highest points on the vast land formation in the region. Bimini and Andros Island, lying about 100 miles to the east of Bimini, were a part of the same island in 10,000 B.C.—called "Poseidia" temple which sunk in 10,000 B.C. and is, according to Cayce, covered by "the slime of ages." This record hall is identical to the one in Egypt under the Sphinx.
Archaeologists have countered that the remains of civilization in the region only go back 7,000 years—or perhaps even less. They have asserted that if a major civilization existed in the area, some of its remains would be found on current land. That assertion has a fundamental flaw. Ancient maritime civilizations typically built their cities and ports on the ocean shores. As related in prior issues of Ancient Mysteries, archaeologists working in South America, the Pacific coast of North America, India, and elsewhere in the world have been discovering the remains of underwater ruins. These ancient maritime civilizations built their cities and ports on coastlines—all of which have been covered by the rising oceans. Given the recent changes in North and South American archaeology—taking the history of habitation in the Americas to 50,000-years ago—it seems likely that ruins would lie in the shallow waters around Bimini.
Andrew Collins—Gateway to Atlantis
In August 2002, British researcher Andrew Collins renewed interest in the search for Atlantis with a stirring lecture at the Annual Egypt & Ancient Civilizations Conference at Virginia Beach. Collins' book, Gateway to Atlantis, proposes that the major remaining portions of Atlantis are in and around Cuba—especially in the area where possible underwater ruins were discovered in 2000. Collins published this rather startling idea prior to the discovery of the possible ruins. Collins also discussed the possibility that Andros Island (between Bimini and Cuba) could hold ruins of Atlantis and he showed a variety of photos of underwater structures taken in the waters around Andros. Many of the photos were shot by J. Manson Valentine and several pilots in the 1960s, prior to the existence of GPS. Thus, several of the locations of the ruins have been lost.
As reported in the A.R.E. membership newsletter Ancient Mysteries, Collins found several of the original photos and Cuban articles in the Egerton Sykes' collection of the A.R.E. library during the conference week. Sykes was a world recognized authority on Atlantis who carefully evaluated all of the evidence on Atlantis as well as conducting his own expeditions until his death in 1983. All of his books, manuscripts, and research materials are housed in a secured area of the library. The articles, written in Spanish, were subsequently translated by A.R.E. Trustee, Humberto Martinez, M.D., who read them to the audience. The articles detailed 1950s efforts to locate remains of Atlantis by Cuban archaeologists—all of which were subsequently suspended due to political changes. Nevertheless, the information pointed to the areas around Cuba—including Andros and Bimini—as probable sites of ruins. Our research of satellite images has uncovered a site in Cuba which fits all of Plato's statements about the center city.
Cuban Underwater "Ruins" May Be Concrete
While we hope that the "ruins" reported off the extreme western tip of Cuba are remnants of Atlantis, our research indicates that the formations lying on the 2100-foot bottom may be something else. This area lies near the locations of the Soviet-era guided missile bunkers and concrete platforms that were the critical issue in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. We believe that the materials on the bottom may be the remains of these bunkers and the storage silos which were quickly dismantled by the Soviets and dumped. Virtually no new information (2004) has been released about the Cuban site, but we remain hopeful that ruins may be identified at the location.
Genetic & Archaeological Confirmations
An additional piece of thoroughly scientific evidence pointing to the probably existence of Atlantis has recently been published in two books: Mound Builders (2001) and Ancient South America (2002). Both books have been authored by Dr. Greg Little, John Van Auken, and Dr. Lora Little. In Mound Builders, the authors suggest that the technology many people associate with Atlantis may not be as advanced as thought. In addition, Van Auken and Lora Little's book, The Lost Hall of Records (2000), details finds associated with the migration of Atlanteans to Central America. Updated information on recent archaeological discoveries and genetic evidence have been presented at the annual Ancient Mysteries conference.
It has long been recognized that migration legends from natives in North, Central, and South America support the migration of advanced groups to various locations in the Americas corresponding to Cayce's accounts of Atlantis. In recent years, archaeological work has shown that Cayce's accounts of the Atlantean migrations to the Americas is consistent with the archaeological evidence. Now, however, research on a form of DNA recovered from ancient remains almost perfectly matches Cayce's account. This was an unexpected scientific surprise that appears to support the contention that Atlantis was in the Caribbean area. In particular, what is called "Haplogroup X" by geneticists, has been found in ancient remains in every location in the world where the Cayce readings state Atlanteans fled at three different times (10,000 B.C., 28,000 B.C., and 50,000 B.C.). Amazingly, Haplogroup X—one of 42 major ancient mtDNA groups identified—has not been found in other locations of the world. In addition, another DNA type, called Haplogroup B, appears to be from what Cayce and others have termed the ancient continent of Mu—or Lemuria. We were the first to make this assertion, which has since been embraced by many others. For additional information, see Ancient America and Genetic DNA Research.
A.R.E.'s Satellite Imagery Research of Bimini
In 2001 and 2002, the Edgar Cayce Foundation funded a 640-square km satellite imaging project in the area around Bimini. This research project was completed by Jonathan Eagle. This process allows for the identification of probable underwater structures. The project revealed two types of seemingly "anomalous" formations. Both of these have now been extensively investigated. The results are below:
- "Two" straight lines were seen off NE Bimini and the report to the A.R.E. by J. Eagle suggested that the lines could be walls with sand dunes over them. In mid-2003, Greg and Lora Little visited the site of the lines and discovered that they were simply seaweed growing on the tops of sand channels. Locals were well aware of the sand channels. J. Eagle and Bill Donato visited the lines in July of 2003 and also made the same finding. However, J. Eagle reported that he "felt" a "reverse thermocline" in the area—with cooler water on the surface. Eagle and Donato have suggested that the thermocline and sand channels may be due to some sort of volcanic activity which they say may be somehow connected to a vein of gold Cayce stated was on Bimini. The National Geographic has sponsored an extensive study of the water flows around Bimini and found numerous areas where different temperatures mixed. The thermoclines around Bimini are due to warm water flows swirling with colder water flows. In October 2003, we viewed the large image of the 630 sq km satellite image of Bimini (now posted in the A.R.E. library) and noted at least another dozen "straight lines" to the NE of the two which were investigated. We believe all of these are completely natural and not worthy of further attention, but a few other investigators have plans to visit the underwater lines at NE Bimini to investigate their possible relationship to the gold vein.
Five 2003 expeditions were conducted to Andros. The first expedition examined the underwater circles found off western Andros. The second examined Rebikoff's "e," a strange e-shaped formation in shallow water in extreme northwestern Andros. During this expedition, an underwater "anomaly" was found in North Andros. The third expedition examined this structure as well as visiting the circles at South Bimini. As stated above, the newest expeditions have been to Andros. The most recent information on Andros and Bimini, where the idea that both the Bimini Road and Andros Platform were ancient breakwaters enclosing harbors. One other intriguing possibility about the Bimini Road and Andros Platform exists, and it was suggested to us by archaeologists. Both formations could have been large foundations for buildings. Near the Andros Platform, in water about 12-feet deep, is a large flat area. Lying on the bottom in that area are flat paving stones carefully fitted together. The paving stones are all square and rectangular with the typical size about 2 by 3 feet.
2004 Andros Expeditions
The 2003 expeditions found two important underwater structures at Andros and also found evidence of an ancient temple on the island. In 2004 the first expedition to Andros was made in June. It confirmed the presence of ancient building structures in central Andros and looked at more areas of the underwater platform. Additional expeditions are planned to several areas at and near Andros as well as to an underwater harbor off the Yucatan. These all took place. In brief, an ancient Maya harbor, with a still-existing 1000-foot long breakwater was investigated at Isla Cerritos off Yucatan. The harbor and breakwater were made from slabs of cut beach rock.
Piedras Negras, Guatemala is the site of Edgar Cayce's third Hall of Records. (The other two being at Giza— under the Sphinx—and in the Bahamas. In April 2004, we made an A.R.E.-sponsored expedition to Piedras Negras carefully examining most of the ruins. An 83-minute video documentary was made of this expedition.
Andros-Bimini December 2004
In December 2004, we went again to Bimini and Andros, this time with a crew from The History Channel. At Bimini we obtained what may be the best footage ever taken of the Road. We also investigated and filmed what is known as "Proctor's Road," just north of the Bimini Road. Proctor's Road is a straight line of stones extending from the shore toward the Bimini Road site. At the Andros Platform we discovered that the hurricanes had passed directly over the site. Much of the 1000-foot-long, three-tiered platform was under sand. But the hurricanes moved huge amounts of sand from the inner harbor revealing a depth of at least 65 feet. Before the hurricane the harbor was only 25- 35-feet deep. The storms also revealed a deep channel leading into the harbor next to the end of the platform. The channel is cut through the reefs and the bedrock. Research revealed that the harbor has never been dredged and the channel was not cut in modern times.
2005 Bimini Andros Expedition
In May 2005 a joint expedition was taken between the ARE Search for Atlantis team and archaeologist Bill Donato of The Atlantis Organization. A series of amazing discoveries were made during and after the expedition. Results of lab testing of materials gathered on that expedition will be released at the 2005 Ancient Mysteries Conference in Virginia Beach. We also still plan on going to Cay Sal and Anguilla. Another possible trip is being planned to coastal Belize.
2007 Bimini Update
In May and June of 2007, three separate expeditions were carried out in the Bahamas as part of the A.R.E.'s Search For Atlantis Project. The initial report from these expeditions, issued in July, detailed the discovery of several crashed planes, at least one of which was reported missing in the Bermuda Triangle. The second report, issued in August, summarized several unexpected discoveries at Bimini, which included what appear to be rectangular building foundations in 100-feet of water and the remains of a temple consisting of white marble materials. This report summarizes the finds made on and around Andros.
Andros is the largest and most unexplored island in all of the Bahamas. North Andros lies about 150 miles East of Miami. The island is about 105-miles long and 35 miles wide at it widest point. As reported earlier, several land explorations were made on Andros along with numerous water explorations. Week long trips were made to Andros by Drs. Greg & Lora Little in both May and June 2007, both of which began with aerial surveys on portions of the Great Bahama Bank (GBB). The GBB is a massive expanse of a largely flat and shallow bottom extending for nearly 300 miles beginning north of Bimini to some distance south of Andros—just north of Cuba. In general, the water depth of this area averages about 25 feet. During the last Ice Age, the entire GBB was well above sea level. The aerial surveys identified over 30 unusual, dark formations in shallow water on the GBB and the gps locations were taken on each from the air. All but one of these formations was then visited on water with North Andros serving as our base of operations. In addition, side-scan sonar was employed to explore wide areas around Andros and in other areas a remote underwater video camera was used to examine the bottom.
Findings at Underwater Dark Features on the Great Bahama Bank
Thirty dark features (underwater formations) were visited on the Great Bahama Bank, some of which were nearly 50 miles offshore onto the GBB. Ship and plane remains found at some of these sites were detailed earlier. In general, about 75% of all the dark formations are associated with a variety of dumped materials as well as more curious artifacts. For example, one perfectly round white spot in the middle of a dark formation showed what appeared to be a portion of a huge metal anchor sticking up from the bottom. This piece could not be moved by hand. Is the actual ship also buried there? We don't know, but the formation around the anchor is over 500-feet long.
At other dark features we discovered dumped bombs, propane gas cylinders, appliances, and other debris. Bahamas fishermen often enhance a good fishing site by dumping materials to the bottom, thus increasing fish cover. But these formations were of marginal interest to us because our prime interest is in archaeological remains. It has been suggested that these "good fishing spots" may have formed initially because of "something buried under the sand" that allowed the grass to form, however, without extensive excavations, this cannot be determined.
Discovery of the Underwater “Joulter’s Wall”
The most important archaeological find of the 2007 Andros expeditions was a stonewall found in shallow water off an island north of Andros. Numerous interviews with local residents of Andros were made during our trips. One resident told us about a huge, underwater wall that was located in shallow water on the small chain of islands known as Joulters Cays, about 7-miles North of Andros. Joulters is completely uninhabited, and data obtained during the past 20 years has shown that numerous hurricane driven tsunamis, 30-feet and higher walls of water, have swept across the islands. In the 1950s, an attempt was made to form a small community on the southern Joulters island, but it was soon abandoned when a hurricane destroyed the few small, wood-framed homes that had been built. All of Joulters is extremely shallow and boats with a draft of more than two feet simply cannot reach it. However, the approach to the area where the wall is located is even shallower.
From directions given by the local, we found the underwater wall with Eslie and Krista Brown. During the two trips to Andros, we spent four full days at this site, not only filming and photographing the entire "wall," but also exploring the islands from one end to the other. We had to enter the area during high tide as we sped over a mile of water only one-foot deep. We found the wall exactly as described by the Andros resident. She related that she had seen it twice. The first time, in the early 1990’s, a large portion of the wall was intact and partially above water. She saw it the second time after a severe 1990’s hurricane and said that the eye of the hurricane hit that area and destroyed most of the wall and shoreline.
The wall itself is actually located in a small, narrow bay between what appears to be two islands. The bay is 3-7-feet deep, depending on the tide, and has sharks coming in at high tide. From the bay, the wall extends diagonally away from the two islands into water that is one-to-four feet deep ending where sandbars are located and the bottom is barely covered by water. About two miles further, through this shallow water, is the deep Tongue of the Ocean.
The wall is primarily made from square and rectangular limestone blocks that range in length from 3-6-feet, a width of 2-3-feet, and a thickness of 6-inches to 3-feet—with some blocks far larger. The blocks are obviously cut and roughly dressed and rough tool marks are clearly visible on many. There are some smaller, cube-like stones, about a foot square, occasionally found in portions of the intact wall and in places on the bottom. One area of the wall remains fairly intact and is found in water about 6-feet deep. Brushing the sandy bottom underneath the lowest tier of stones revealed more limestone blocks under the visible portion. How far down it extends is unknown. This section of the wall runs approximately 30-feet long and is formed by the massive blocks stacked on top of each other with 2-3 vertical layers of blocks visible. We found about 50 large stone blocks widely scattered in water around this intact portion as if they had been tossed around by huge waves.
The name Atlantis first appears in the writings of Herodotus - he describes the western ocean as "Sea of Atlantis." Then, one generation later, Atlantis is described in detail in the stories Timaeus and Critias by the Greek philosopher Plato.  He used this story to help explain his ideas about government and philosophy. Plato was the only ancient writer who wrote specific things about Atlantis. 
According to Plato, the Atlanteans lived 9000 years before his own time and were half human and half god. They created a very good human society. When they stopped being good people and did bad things, the gods sent earthquakes and fire to destroy Atlantis. 
Many scholars think Plato could have been thinking of a real place when he wrote about Atlantis. Many, many people have thought of many, many places where the real place that inspired Atlantis could have been. For example, there was a Minoan kingdom on the island of Santorini. The Minoan kingdom was very powerful thousands of years before Plato, and their society was damaged when a volcano erupted on their island.  According to Plato, Atlantis was very large, as big as North Africa, so it should not have been hard to find. 
After the discovery of the Americas, some people in Europe thought they might be Atlantis.  However, after Plato, the idea of Atlantis was mostly forgotten until 1882, when a writer named Ignatius Donnelly wrote a book saying that Atlantis was real and that the culture of Atlantis had started many other ancient cultures, such as the Egyptian and Mayan. Then other people became interested in Atlantis.  
Atlantis has appeared in many works of fiction. In Marvel Comics, Atlantis is at the bottom of the ocean and exists in modern times, with people who breathe water. Other works of fiction use Atlantis as background. For example, Robert E. Howard set his Conan the Barbarian stories in a fictional time called the Hyborian Age, which began with the destruction of Atlantis and ended when real written history started.  
The 'lost' continent
Despite its clear origin in fiction, many people over the centuries have claimed that there must be some truth behind the myths, speculating about where Atlantis would be found. Countless Atlantis "experts" have located the lost continent all around the world based on the same set of facts. Candidates — each accompanied by its own peculiar sets of evidence and arguments — include the Atlantic Ocean, Antarctica, Bolivia, Turkey, Germany, Malta and the Caribbean.
Plato, however, is crystal clear about where Atlantis is: "For the ocean there was at that time navigable for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Heracles,' (i.e., Hercules) there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together." In other word it lies in the Atlantic Ocean beyond "The pillars of Hercules" (i.e., the Straits of Gibraltar, at the mouth of the Mediterranean). Yet it has never been found in the Atlantic, or anywhere else.
The only way to make a mystery out of Atlantis (and to assume that it was once a real place) is to ignore its obvious origins as a moral fable and to change the details of Plato's story, claiming that he took license with the truth, either out of error or intent to deceive. With the addition, omission, or misinterpretation of various details in Plato's work, nearly any proposed location can be made to "fit" his description.
Yet as writer L. Sprague de Camp noted in his book "Lost Continents," "You cannot change all the details of Plato's story and still claim to have Plato's story. That is like saying the legendary King Arthur is 'really' Cleopatra all you have to do is to change Cleopatra's sex, nationality, period, temperament, moral character, and other details, and the resemblance becomes obvious."
The most obvious sign that Atlantis is a myth is that no trace of it has ever been found despite advances in oceanography and ocean floor mapping in past decades. For nearly two millennia readers could be forgiven for suspecting that the vast depths might somehow hide a sunken city or continent. Though there remains much mystery at the bottom of the world's oceans, it is inconceivable that the world's oceanographers, submariners, and deep-sea probes have some how missed a landmass "larger than Libya and Asia together."
Furthermore plate tectonics demonstrate that Atlantis is impossible as the continents have drifted, the seafloor has spread over time, not contracted. There would simply be no place for Atlantis to sink into. As Ken Feder notes, "The geology is clear there could have been no large land surface that then sank in the area where Plato places Atlantis. Together, modern archaeology and geology provide an unambiguous verdict: There was no Atlantic continent there was no great civilization called Atlantis."
Ignatius Donnelly was certain of his theory, predicting that hard evidence of the sunken city would soon be found, and that museums around the world would one day be filled with artifacts from Atlantis. Yet over 130 years have passed without a trace of evidence. The Atlantis legend has been kept alive, fueled by the public's imagination and fascination with the idea of a hidden, long-lost utopia. Yet the "lost city of Atlantis" was never lost it is where it always was: in Plato's books.
Is there any proof of its existence?
Now, here&rsquos the twist. There is no written record of the existence of Atlantis in the world, except for its mention in the works of the great philosopher, Plato. Even the location of this utopia is a mystery. People have worked through various hypotheses, giving the location they believed it should be. Surprisingly, many of the proposed sites were not in the Atlantic Ocean at all (as you would have guessed from its name, as though the &ldquoAtlantic&rdquo ocean was derived from this ancient culture). Many of the proposed sites corroborate some of the characteristics of the Atlantis story (water, catastrophic end, and a relevant time period). Most of the historically proposed locations are in or near the Mediterranean Sea. Now, this story is getting good&hellip let&rsquos look at various locations that are claimed to be the most likely sites of Atlantis:
The Azores in Portugal is thought to be a sunken city
Plato quoted Egyptian Priests, who believed that Atlantis fought a war with the ancient Mediterraneans, and then sank in 9,400 B.C. Because Atlantis was said to be a large island in the Atlantic Ocean that surrounds the continents, it was thought to be in the mid-Atlantic. Atlantis was said to have colonized much of the world and fought a war with Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. The sinking of Atlantis left only a few scattered islands&hellip islands such as the Azores, some believe.
The Sahara Desert, and more specifically, the Tassili and Ahaggar Mountains in southern Algeria, Tunisia or both, has been proposed as the actual site of Atlantis. When the French colonized North Africa, they soon discovered that a lost world existed in southern Algeria and that the ancient harbor of Carthage was an exact miniature of the capital of Atlantis described by the Egyptian priests.
Malta has huge ancient structures that are now dated at 9,000 years old or older, and are said by Orthodox archaeologists to be the oldest stone ruins in the world. Malta is now a small rocky island, but it once had elephants and shows evidence of having been destroyed in a huge cataclysmic wave. The island is far too small to have been Atlantis, but it shows that the Mediterranean was a very different place 12,000 years ago.
The ruins of Tiahuanaco. Source- cabinflooresoterica.com
Due to the gigantic ruins in Peru and Bolivia, and the evidence that Tiahuanaco was destroyed in a cataclysm, South America has been proposed as the site of Atlantis by a number of early writers. South America does have huge ruins and is across the Atlantic, but it seems to have risen from sea level, rather than sinking into the ocean.
Location of Atlantis near Britain according to Paul Dunbavin
Recently, researcher Paul Dunbavin proposed that the citadel of Atlantis was located underwater between Wales and Ireland, this area being the &ldquoPlain of Atlantis&rdquo, as described by Plato. Major Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam are 40 feet or more below sea level already. They may very well be the sunken cities of the near future.
The location of Atlantis has remained a tantalizing mystery for thousands of years, but very recently (2011), a U.S.-led research team has claimed to have found the legendary lost city of Atlantis. Scientists claim to have pinpointed the exact location of the metropolis under the mud flats in southern Spain. The team of archaeologists and geologists are convinced that Atlantis &ndash swamped by a tsunami &ndash is submerged just north of Cadiz.
During the Isu Era, Atlantis was created to be an indestructible repository of Isu knowledge where both members of the First Civilization and humanity could co-exist. Ώ] The city was originally ruled by the Isu Atlas but he was supplanted by his power-hungry father, the Trident King Poseidon, who gave Atlas and his nine brothers the subordinate position of Archon to manage the city's affairs. ΐ]
Poseidon, as the Dikastes Basileus, the Grand Adjudicator, implemented a cycle system for Atlantis wherein the city would be destroyed and reconstituted afresh every seven years if it was judged to be imperfect, Α] a process which could wipe individuals from existence. Β] He also eventually outlawed the use of experimentation on the city's human residents. Α]
According to one Atlantean myth, a matter which led Poseidon's loathed brother Zeus to visit the city and reprimand Poseidon in person enraged the Trident King so much that he destroyed the very cycle in which the meeting had occurred. Β]
Around the year 422 BCE, the Gateway to the Lost City, which connected Atlantis to the surface world, was visited by the Spartan misthios Kassandra. There, she discovered her biological father, Pythagoras, along with the Staff of Hermes, which had kept him alive for a very long time. Γ] Together, they used the Atlantis artifacts to seal the entrance to the city. Δ]
To help her master the Staff, Kassandra later visited a simulated version of the city, Α] a composite of Isu memories including those of former Dikastes Aletheia Ε] and perceived by Kassandra with Ancient Greek imagery culturally familiar to her. Ζ]
Doom was humanity's final hope against preventing the Atlanteans from slaughtering all of the land dwellers. 
Atlantis was a continent in the mid-Atlantic that sunk centuries ago. The capitol city is in ruins. When the Fantastic Four explored the area, they inadvertently awakened Namor from his tomb. ⏊]
Earth-9047 (The Humorverse)
Atlantis is an underwater civilization known as Atlanticus, and it can be accessed from the Arctic Ocean. It was Namorette's public address until she joined the New Heroes on the Block. ⏋]
Atlantis is accurately described word-for-word from the first recorded accounts by the Greek philosopher, Plato. The city was located just beside the Pillars of Hercules - known today as the Strait of Gibraltar - and was shockingly advanced for its period in the ancient world, including irrigated canals, marble-built architecture, and hanging gardens. Also, Atlantis possessed the secret power source, Orichalcum, which powered the entire city. However, the Atlanteans were unable to control the Orichalcum as its power was far too great for a superconductor, and eventually creating a vortex that sucked the entirety of Atlantis under the sea. ⏌]
Proteus elevated Atlantis above the ocean while attaching every Atlantean in the city to the walls, causing them all to suffocate in the air.