Atlantis. The famous lost city. An ancient, mythical civilization of art, peace and high technology. Atlantis has been the subject of everything from New Age cults to a Disney movie. Now, it’s the subject of some serious scientific inquiry. A group of researchers think they’ve found the real Atlantis, not in the pages of a myth but in the marshes of Spain.
If the city is real, speculation is that it may have been wiped out centuries ago by a giant tsunami. We’re all too familiar with the devastation tsunami waves can wreak. Some theorists believe a mediterranean tsunami is responsible for the flood stories in cultures ranging from ancient Greece to the Bible. A tsunami powerful enough to generate Noah’s ark adventure might well have wiped a thriving city right off the map.
We’ll get to see more of the team’s findings this weekend in a National Geographic special called “Finding Atlantis”. The Huffington Post reports that the team are confident they’ve found the source of the Atlantis myth buried in mid flats in Spain, almost 60 miles inland. Lead researcher Richard Freund told Reuters that, incredible as it may seem, a tsunami could have wrought that devastation.
In addition to the original lost city, the crew found a series of smaller “memorial cities” built in the first cities image. They believe these were built by survivors of the Atlantis tsunami who fled inland and tried to rebuild the home they’d lost.
If this is the real Atlantis, it certainly changes the character of the Atlantis myths I grew up with. Rather than pure fiction, they start to feel like scraps of history, about as real as King Arthur or Robin Hood. Sunny worried that kids would miss out on the myth, but I think having real ruins to draw on just makes it better. My only question is: when the archeological work is largely done, will this become a hot tourist destination? Will you take your kids to visit the ruins of Atlantis?