The connection between the myth of Atlantis and the island of Santorini: The mystery of the lost Atlantis is one of the most popular myths in the world. However,
to date, no one has ever proved Atlantis truly existed. Some support that the catastrophe of the Minoan civilization and Ancient Thera (Santorini) are strongly connected with the lost
city Atlantis, but limited evidence has been presented to support that theory.
does not follow that because there was an eruption on Thera, that the lost
city was on the Greek island. Volcanic eruptions, like earthquakes, cause
tsunamis, and tsunamis are known to have sunk a number of cities, namely Alexandria
further south in the Mediterranean
Sea, and Port
Royal in the Caribbean
these examples onboard, it is possible that an island or coastal city further
west, may have been subsumed.
The first written source for the myth of Atlantis originates from the Athenian philosopher Plato (427- 437 BC). He stated that the people of Atlantis lived peacefully on a prosperous island beyond the Pillars of Hercules (today's narrow passages of Gibraltar), so it is assumed that Atlantis was probably located somewhere between Europe and America, maybe in the Atlantic Ocean. However, it is doubted that such an advanced civilization, like the one described by Plato, ever existed as back in the past as it is mentioned.
The story of Atlantis was conveyed to Solon by Egyptian priests on one of his trips to Egypt, as says, Plato. Likewise, Plato describes the story of Atlantis in his dialogues Critias and Timaeus. Among the impressive things that Solon heard from the priest was that the Atlantians originally had divine powers but gradually lost them. After they were left only with human powers, they decided to go against other prosperous islands. They traveled around the Mediterranean and conquered many places until they were defeated by the Athenians. Eventually, the anger of the gods for the arrogance of the Atlantians lead to their punishment. The Olympians obliterated Atlantis in one night, leaving only masses of mud behind.
As historians have noticed, the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri, discovered on the island of Santorini, was a developed settlement that was destroyed around 1,500 BC due to the strong eruption of the Santorini volcano. The intensity of this volcanic eruption was so powerful that the tsunami waves in the Aegean Sea reached and destroyed the Minoan settlements of northern Crete. Plato's description of the destruction of the mythological Atlantis has many common points with the story of the Minoan Akrotiri, which also disappeared without leaving any trace.
Akrotiri, which was covered by the volcanic ashes of Santorini, means that the island could be the lost Atlantis that vanished in one night. Moreover, archaeologists point out the fact that Ancient Thera (Santorini) had a flourishing economy, and the Minoans were great seafarers who carried out trade and commerce with other Mediterranean countries.
Scientists have today concluded that the mystery of Atlantis island is just a myth with countless unanswerable questions. Therefore, it is possible that Atlantis never existed. However, this myth has raised many arguments and has inspired much talking on this myth.
Type the word “Atlantis” into Google and 120 million results pop up. Like El Dorado or Shangri-la, the legendary sunken city of Atlantis hovers on the horizon of our imagination, tantalizing, mysterious, unreachable. Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City pulls together the tangled web of
conjecture - and sticks a new locator pin in the map.
Talking from his home in Pelham, New York, author Mark Adams explains why he thinks Atlantis may have been off the coast of Morocco; how an Irishman created the world’s largest database of Atlantis lore; and how the parting of the Red Sea, in the biblical story in Exodus, may be connected to Atlantis.
WHEN IS ATLANTIS FIRST MENTIONED IN THE HISTORICAL RECORD?
The only mention of Atlantis by name is in Plato’s Dialogues (written around 360 B.C.): “Timaeus,” which was a very complicated attempt to explain the universe, and “Critias,” which has dozens of precise details about what Atlantis looked like, and where it may have been located in relation to other landmarks in the ancient world. It was “Critias,” in particular, that set people off thinking that Atlantis actually existed.
The story of Atlantis could be taken as a war story where Athens defeats Atlantis.
In this scenario Atlantis is a little bit south of Casablanca in modern
Morocco - facing into the Atlantic.
One of the best clues that Plato gives about Atlantis is that there was a series of concentric circles around the city, black and red stone, and of course it was a seafaring society.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER THREE FRONT RUNNERS?
The traditional front-runner and the only one so far that has gotten a lot of traction with mainstream academics is the island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea. There is real archaeological evidence there. The island has a bull’s-eye shape with a ring around its center, and it has a relatively new volcano, which we know erupted in ancient times.
Santorini was also the site of an important maritime city called Akrotiri, which was discovered in 1967. There is a lot of evidence that it was a flourishing naval center. There were frescoes showing ships, very similar to the details that Plato gives about the Atlantis story. In the mid-1970s, Santorini was major news.
Jacques Cousteau went to Santorini to look for Atlantis. It was
thus taken pretty seriously.
The other two are Tartessus, in southern Spain, another lost city from antiquity, which is not too far from the modern-day city of Seville. Finally, there is Malta. Malta has the most ancient temples in the Mediterranean area, and Malta’s culture was destroyed by a tsunami and earthquake.
Jose Maria Galan, a naturalist, says the real story of archaeology and Atlantis is that “no matter how big and powerful you get, you can disappear like that.” Explain.
Jose Maria Galan worked at Doñana National Park [on the southern coast of Spain]. “In the summer, you’ll see thousands of people lying out on the beach. Now imagine that there’s a wave 60 meters high coming in, and you can see how a civilization could get wiped out right away.”
Then he took me out to this area of dunes and we started digging into the hills, and Jose starts plucking out all these various pieces of pottery: Roman pieces, Muslim pieces from the Middle Ages, Greek, all the way back to Phoenician. It was amazing that so many cultures in this quiet spot had come and gone over the millennia. He says: “The only thing we know for sure is that everything gets wiped out in the end.”
One of the main messages Plato was trying to get across: Time is cyclical, and even a very powerful, technically advanced civilization like Atlantis is going to get wiped out eventually.
ARE THERE ANY RELIABLE MAPS THAT SHOW ATLANTIS?
Apparently not, though there have been people who have tried to place it on maps. There was a sort of odd, brilliant polymath named Athanasius Kircher, a Jesuit who lived in Germany in the 17th century. He did what’s probably the most famous map of Atlantis, where he placed it in the Atlantic Ocean. But there’s no way of knowing whether he based this on any reliable information or whether he just made it up. The oldest maps we have don’t go back much past 1500. They’re post Christopher Columbus.
There is no single compendium to look for information about Atlantis. There are thousands of
little mentions here and there, but nothing conclusive.
Minoan eruption was a catastrophic volcanic eruption that devastated the
Aegean island of Thera (also called Santorini) circa 1600 BCE. It destroyed the Minoan settlement at Akrotiri, as well as communities and agricultural areas on nearby islands and the coast of Crete with subsequent earthquakes and paleotsunamis. With a VEI magnitude between 6 and 7, resulting in an ejection of approximately 30–80 km3 (7.2–19.2 cu mi) of dense-rock equivalent (DRE), the eruption was one of the largest volcanic events on
Earth in human history. Since tephra from the Minoan eruption serves as a marker horizon in nearly all archaeological sites in the Eastern
Mediterranean, its precise date is of high importance and has been fiercely debated among archaeologists and volcanologists for decades, without coming to a definite conclusion.
Although there are no clear ancient records of the eruption, its plume and volcanic lightning may have been described in the
Egyptian Tempest Stele. The Chinese Bamboo Annals reported unusual yellow skies and summer frost at the beginning of the Shang dynasty, which may have been a consequence of volcanic winter (similar to 1816, the Year Without a Summer, after the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora).
The eruption devastated the nearby Minoan settlement at Akrotiri on Santorini, which was entombed in a layer of pumice. It is believed that the eruption also severely affected the Minoan population on Crete, but the extent of the impact is debated. Early hypotheses proposed that ashfall from Thera on the eastern half of Crete choked off plant life, causing starvation of the local population. After more thorough field examinations, the hypothesis has lost credibility, as it has been determined that no more than 5 mm (0.20 in) of ash fell anywhere on Crete. Other hypotheses have been proposed based on archaeological evidence found on Crete indicating that a tsunami, likely associated with the eruption, impacted the coastal areas of Crete and may have devastated the Minoan coastal settlements. Another hypothesis is that much of the damage done to Minoan sites resulted from a large earthquake and the fires it caused, which preceded the Thera eruption.
Significant Minoan remains have been found above the Thera ash layer and tsunami level dating from the Late Minoan I era, and it is unclear whether the effects of the ash and tsunami were enough to trigger the downfall of the Minoan civilization. Some sites were abandoned or settlement systems significantly interrupted in the immediate aftermath of the
eruption. Some archaeologists speculate that the eruption caused a crisis in Minoan Crete, opening it to Mycenaean influence or even conquest.
NASA 1989 - JET PROPULSION LABORATORY - THREE SCIENTISTS AND A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR HAVE DATED THE SANTORINI VOLCANIC ERUPTION
Three scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and university professor have dated the most powerful volcano eruption in recorded history, the Thera/Santorini eruption, to the late 17th Century BC.
The Aegean Sea island of Thera, now known as Santorini, erupted with power equal to two million Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, said Drs. Kevin Pang, Santosh Srivastava and Robert Keston, all of JPL, and Hung-hsiang Chou of the University of California at Los Angeles.
Results of the study, funded at JPL in Pasadena, Calif., by NASA, were prepared for presentation before Dec. 5 session of the 1989 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union at San Francisco.
The scientists used Chinese historical accounts of the atmospheric effects brought on by the volcano's eruption matched with Greenland ice cores and tree ring analyses, science called dendrochronology.
The effects of Thera's explosion were felt around the world and the island's destruction was believed to be the source of Plato's story of Atlantis, which tells of an island civilization submerged by the sea, the scientists said.
Recent archaeological studies suggest Atlantis may have been the Minoan centers of Crete destroyed by tidal waves from the Thera eruption, Pang said.
"Our previous search for Chinese historical accounts of the atmospheric effects of very large eruptions recorded in Greenland ice cores has been 100 percent successful," Pang said. "And Thera/Santorini, the most powerful historical eruption, is no exception."
Climatic anomalies were recorded in the time of King Chieh, the last king of the Xia, the earliest recorded Chinese dynasty. "At the time of King Chieh the sun was dimmed," the records report. "Three suns appeared." "Winter and summer came irregularly."
"Frosts in the 6th month (July)." "Last year of King Chieh, ice formed in the morning," (very unusual for the Yellow River Valley in that period).
The records also indicate crop failures and famine. Also, "There was heavy rainfall and communities were destroyed." The floods were followed by severe drought that lasted seven years into the next (Shang) dynasty.
The heavy rainfall is characteristic atmospheric effect of major volcanic eruptions, Pang said. Cold, wet summers also followed three other eruptions traced through similar methods, the Tambora in 1815, Laki in 1783, and an unnamed Icelandic eruption in 208 BC.
The scientists said they dated the Thera/Santorini eruption with archaeologically verified predynastic and dynastic Shang and
Western Zhou royal genealogies, calibrated by absolute astronomical dates.
Apocalyptic rainstorms, which devastated much of Egypt, and were described on the Tempest Stele of Ahmose I, have been attributed to short-term
climatic changes caused by the Theran eruption. The dates and regnal dates of Ahmose I are in some dispute with Egyptologists (leaving aside alternate chronologies). Proposed reigns range from 1570–1546 BCE to 1539–1514 BCE. A radiocarbon dating of his mummy produced a mean value of 1557 BCE. In any case this would only provide an overlap with the later estimates of eruption date.
Alternatively, if the eruption occurred in the Second Intermediate Period, the absence of Egyptian records of the eruption could be caused by the general disorder in
Egypt around that time.
While it has been argued that the damage attributed to these storms may have been caused by an earthquake following the Thera eruption, it has also been suggested that it was caused during a war with the Hyksos, and the storm reference is merely a metaphor for chaos upon which the Pharaoh was attempting to impose order. Documents such as Hatshepsut's Speos Artemidos depict storms, but are clearly figurative, not literal. Research indicates that the Speos Artemidos stele is a reference to her overcoming the powers of chaos and darkness.