Nearly 2,400 years ago, the philosopher Plato described Atlantis as a powerful state endowed with 10,000 tanks, advanced technologies, a large number of elephants and bulls and from a series of complex channels. And now, in a new documentary, a group based in the United Kingdom claims to have discovered the ruins of this once flourishing society on what is now the Atlantic coast of Spain.
But an archaeologist said the ruins would likely belong to another ancient culture, and several researchers interviewed by Live Science could barely contain their exasperation when they learned the news of another discovery of the same. Atlantis. (People have made dozens of such claims over the years, placing legendary society in Antarctica, Bolivia, Turkey, Germany, Malta, the Caribbean, and elsewhere.)
"Bless their hearts – they're right about it, that would be great," said Ken Feder, professor of anthropology at Central Connecticut State University. "But here's my problem: as an archaeologist, I know that I always need to be in the company of my bullshit detector, and these guys, they've done everything that's going on." They could trigger my bullshit detector. " [Images: Lost Medieval City Discovered Near Angkor Wat]
Seen from the space
One wonders if Atlantis existed or not. Plato described ancient society around 330 BC. By writing that a politician named Critias had heard of the company through a historic phone game going back to ancient Egypt. Atlantis is the perfect example of a society corrupted by its material wealth, advanced technologies and military might. Then, the gods destroyed Atlantis about 9,000 years ago during a cataclysmic event, writes Plato.
For centuries, scholars have viewed Plato's writings on Atlantis as an allegory. But this perspective changed in 1882, when the US representative, Ignatius Donnelly (1831-1901), an amateur scientist, published the book "Atlantis: The Antediluvian World" (Harper & Brothers), which stated that Atlantis was a real place.
Since then, people have been searching for the sunken remains of the city. In the most recent example, Merlin Burrows' employees pointed out, two years ago, what Atlantis could be in Spain, said Bruce Blackburn, CEO of Merlin Burrows, at Live Science. The company, based in North Yorkshire, England, uses historical recordings and satellite data to find archaeological sites.
The Blackburn team used data from commercial satellites, such as Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 (which also provide data for Google Earth), to find the site, located in Doñana National Park, Spain. "Obviously, it's a very daring thing to say," said Blackburn, who has a background in business and finance. "Everyone will have [one of] two opinions. We are that "it's great. Let's take a look, & # 39; and one of them will be & # 39; It's a pile of garbage. & # 39; " [The 25 Strangest Sites on Google Earth]
What they found
The company's researchers chose to search the site in Spain after reading Plato's two dialogues about Atlantis, Blackburn said. They also consulted another text, but Blackburn does not say which one. "We will not share this in a public forum at this stage," said Blackburn, adding that he expects however that the text be subject to control "under the best conditions".
The text of these documents included Plato's descriptions that "under the mouth that you, the Greeks, call, as you say," the pillars of Heracles ", was an island larger than Libya and the # 39; Asia. " Such descriptions led Merlin Burrows to the Spanish coast near the Strait of Gibraltar, Blackburn said. The team found several archaeological evidence: large circles that may have formed the basis of ancient towers, the ruins of what the team claims to be the temple of Poseidon and a greenish blue patina covering some of the ruins – all the details included in Plato in his dialogues, Blackburn said. [10 Biggest Historical Mysteries That Will Probably Never Be Solved]
The team also discovered the remains of a long dyke, as well as the signs of a tsunami, which could be evidence of the cataclysmic event that drowned the company, Blackburn said.
"The cities of Atlantis, which are very detailed in Plato's writings, are really there for everyone to see," Blackburn said.
Then Merlin Burrows took samples of the material – probably man-made concrete, Blackburn said – from the circle-shaped foundations and possible ruins of the temple. The company handed these samples to a materials analysis laboratory in Italy, which dated them from 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, said Blackburn. However, at the time of the press, Blackburn had not specified the methods used by the laboratory to date the concrete.
Merlin Burrows and Ingenio Films produced a two-hour documentary titled "Atlantica" on this discovery. Blackburn said he expects companies to produce more documentaries.
"What we really want to do is we want to franchise the discovery," said Blackburn. "We want to make a lot of money, and with that money, we want to support the archaeological community."
Merlin Burrows is not the first group to assert that Atlantis is located in the south of Spain. In "Atlantis Rising," National Geographic announced that the network had found evidence of the location of its network in the Doñana National Park, as well as a 2004 study in the journal Antiquity. And Elena Maria Whishaw, director of the Anglo-Spanish-American School of Archeology, published the 1929 book "Atlantis in Andalucia" (Rider & Company) which assumed that the area was a colony of the island. 39; Atlantis.
It is not surprising that southern Spain is a place of interest because people lived there a long time ago. In a new study published in the December issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, researchers found that humans lived in the current Doñana National Park about 5,000 years ago, according to an analysis of pollen and microscopic remains in the sediments of the region.
This study revealed that the park was above sea level at certain times, including Neolithic and Copper. The researchers also discovered that Doñana National Park was based on Holocene sediments that began to accumulate about 7,000 years ago. "Below these sediments are pre-Holocene sedimentary deposits and layers of fossilized sand dating back thousands of years," said Juan José Villarías-Robles, co-investigator and deputy director of the Institute of Literary Literature and Anthropology of the Center for Human and Social Sciences in Madrid.
If the dating of the 10,000 to 12,000 year old concrete samples, as reported by Merlin Burrows, is accurate, then these samples could come from pre-Holocene formations, Villarías-Robles said. But, at least for this place, this date does not correspond to a company like Atlantis, he said. "However, assuming that the material is made by man (which is a great hypothesis), the date leads us, from the point of view of culture to history, to Paleolithic and post-war. Paleolithic, "Villarías-Robles explained to Live Science in an email. "This is the era of hunters and gatherers, not the creators and rulers of a vast agricultural, livestock and marine system. [like Atlantis]. " [In Images: An Ancient European Hunter Gatherer]
Take and choose
At the same time, Feder (anthropologist at Central Connecticut State University) asked why Merlin Burrows had not submitted her findings to a peer-reviewed journal, which would give other scientists the opportunity to verify the research. "This immediately triggers my bullshit detector when someone, instead of doing it, makes the announcement through a press release, a press conference, a web page or a documentary," Feder said.
In his book "Encyclopedia of Doubtful Archeology: From Atlantis to Walam Olum" (Greenwood, 2010), Feder has listed 53 specific descriptions of Atlantis in Plato's dialogues, including that the city had bridges connecting earth rings, as well as a central island. surrounded by a stone wall on each side. The descriptions also indicated that the temple of Poseidon in Atlantis had an ivory roof, silver walls and gold pinnacles. It is common for scientists in America to check some of these boxes, but it is rare for anyone to consult the complete checklist, Feder said. [How Plausible Are These 20 Imaginary Worlds?]
The area is "a very interesting place", but this fact "obviously" is not a new one, said Mark Adams, author of "Meet Me in Atlantis: My Quest to Find the Old Submerged City of 2 000 years "(Dutton, 2015). Archaeologists have known for years that southern Spain is a high place of maritime trade in ancient times, said Adams at Live Science.
"Does that make it [this area] Atlantis? I can not say for sure "no," but I do not see any new evidence that would allow me to "say yes," said Adams after watching the new trailer "Atlantica." Like Feder, Adams said some aspects The site complies with the Atlantis checklist, noting that the region has experienced catastrophic earthquakes and floods, but that other aspects are lacking.
Adams said he would take the Atlantis proposal more seriously if it contained key information from Plato's dialogues, including the city's unique layout in concentric circles (like a bull's eye) of sea and dry land. (These concentric circles are different from the dot-shaped circles that Merlin Burrows found in the landscape.) Perhaps archeologists will find an inscription on Atlantis in an Egyptian temple, where, according to Plato's writing, the original description was found, said Adams.
"What a lot of people do, is that they will take into account the story of Plato – and there is tons of information in there, it's why it's so fun to play with – it's really like a treasure map – and they take the roles that fits their assumption and they quietly leave out the parts that do not fit their assumption, "Adams said. [Rumor or Reality: The Creatures of Cryptozoology]
In reality, it is likely that Plato has twisted elements of stories and different myths that he would have heard, sculpting this source material into the likely fictional story of Atlantis society, the advanced society but corrupted that the gods destroyed. "[Plato] did not write this as a report from a land surveyor that people could follow 2400 years later, "said Adams, who used it to present a philosophical argument."
In other words, "people very often claim to have found Atlantis," Live Science told a classical archaeologist in England, who declined to give his name. "But if they read the text, they would realize that it was a legend, not a place."
Originally published on Science live.