|places - lost civilizations - atlantis|
City of Atlantis
What little we know about Atlantis comes from the summary presented by Plato around 360 BC in his Timaeus and Critias writings. These are the only known specific references to the city and have generated much debate over the location and existence of the metropolis.
Plato described Atlantis as a island nation existing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It was said to be populated by a great a powerful race and was a center for trace and commerce during that era. The sheer scale of everything he said about Atlantis, from the grandeur of its buildings tot he enormous timescale involved, have provided a controversial debate that has extended for over 10,000 years.
Plato claimed to have gotten his information from his family. The fact that Plato would never perpetrate a fraud involving deceased members of his revered family, and the common knowledge that Plato was never known for wholesale fabrication, indicates that Plato indeed told the story as a truthful account of this mysterious civilization.
Atlantis was described as being remarkably modern for its day. It was said to have many man-made canals used for navigation and water supply. The people there were very wealthy and had considerable natural resources such as abundant plants and wildlife.
Some believe that the inhabitants of Atlantis were even more 'advanced' than our modern civilization (and possibly wiser) contradicting the prevailing view of a slow, steady, linear ascent of human civilization from primitive beginnings to our modern technological society. In fact, some believe that that not all Atlanteans died in their cataclysmic event but rather survived and are the ancestors of all of our modern day 'intelligent' people. Given this belief, all of our modern day technology is simply a rediscovering of the knowledge and information possessed by the Atlantean culture.
Surrealistic tales of Atlantean intelligence propose that they had developed such technologically advanced mechanisms such as time machines, machinery to transport themselves into some sort of altered dimension, futuristic weaponry, and advanced communication devices. Some tales indicate that the Atlanteans had perfected cloning of their powerful race and/or had created intelligent robotic clones of themselves. And some tales tell of a 'alternate Earth' that the Atlanteans periodically visited, possibly by the use of the previously mentioned portal machinery.
As time passed, legend has it that as their wealth and knowledge reached unfathomed levels, the people began to falter and become greedy. Some legends tell us that as punishment, the God Zeus pummeled the metropolis and the entire island nation sank into the city killing all of its habitants. Some take a more practical view and believe that an earthquake of great flood destroyed the metropolis ins a single night of terror. Others believe the Atlanteans, reaching unbelievable levels of success, simply self-destructed and destroyed themselves.
Was this story true? If so, how could the ruins of such a metropolis elude researchers intent on proving its existence? Did all the Atlanteans perish or did some survive and become predecessors to our modern civilizations?
Some historians believe that the Atlanteans actually survived their cataclysm and migrated to other places. Common belief is that their migration took them to Egypt where the continued to forge new and innovative methods of technology. This theory concludes that that the great Egyptian marvels, such as the Sphinx and the great Egyptian writings. Others feel that Solon, the supposed family member who originally passed the story on to Plato, may have mistaken Egypt itself for the city of Atlantis.
Some researchers believe that the shifting continents may have displaced Atlantis to a location not nearly as close to the Atlantic Ocean as Plato described. Prevailing evidence using advanced calculations indicates that the lost civilization may indeed lie under the ice of Antarctica.
Other researchers and readings from the infamous Edgar Cayce, indicate that Atlantis may have been located near the Bimini Island in the Bahamas. There is evidence that the Bimini Island may have once been a mountain region with the largest part of the island now submerged beneath the ocean. Cayce believed that Atlantis actually suffered three destructive events. The first destroyed their major power source (what the power source was in not known). The second actually split the islands into 3 separate entities. The third and final catastrophe caused all three of the islands to sink into the sea. Cayce concluded his reading of the City of Atlantis with a warning - between 1958 and 2008 our modern society would be presented with the same opportunities and challenges that the Atlanteans faced. Our response to those challenges may dictate our fate just as it did the Atlanteans.
Probably the most sound scientific explanation of the location of Atlantis places it off the southern coast of China. This location of this site makes if somewhat difficult to study but a general scientific consensus of the world's 'map' around the end of the Ice Age indicates that a great portion of that continent is now located underwater. Depth studies of the region also indicate that there are three areas that are particularly shallow, all being less than 100 meters under the water.