Atlantis, what is Plato’s mistake? Where to find the remains of the Atlantean civilization?
Since the time of the ancient Greeks, this mystery has been haunting mystery lovers. The eternal question is already two and a half thousand years old. The first to write about Atlantis was the great ancient Greek philosopher Plato, on whose writings today’s researchers and seekers of the sunken island are based. All that Plato knew about the mysterious Atlantis is told in his two dialogues “Critias”and ” Timaeus”. In them, Plato’s ancestor Critias recalls conversations between the ancient Greek sage Solon and an unnamed Egyptian priest. The conversation took place in the VI century BC. The Egyptian told, referring to the sacred Egyptian texts,that there was a great country of Atlantis, which lay behind the pillars of Hercules, which perished in a terrible catastrophe. . “…There was an island lying in front of that Strait which is called in your language the pillars of Hercules. This island was larger than Libya and Asia combined. On this island, which was called Atlantis, there arose a great and wonderful Union of kings, whose power extended over the whole island. They took over Libya as far as Egypt and Europe as far as tyrrhenia. … But later, when the time came for unprecedented earthquakes and floods. Atlantis disappeared, plunged into the abyss. Then the sea in places became even to this day non-navigable and is not available by reason of the shallowing caused by the huge amount of silt that is left behind settled the island” (“timey”). “Nine thousand years ago there was a war between the peoples who lived on the other side of the pillars of Hercules and all those who lived on the other side. At the head of the latter was our state (that is, Athens), and at the head of the former were the kings of the island of Atlantis; as we have already mentioned, it was once an island larger than Libya and Asia, but now it has collapsed due to earthquakes and turned into impassable silt, barring the way of mariners” (“Critias”). Even in ancient times, there were supporters and opponents of the existence of Atlantis. The hypothesis was supported by Pliny the Elder and Diodorus Siculus, the opponents were Aristotle and the geographer Strabo. The debate continues to this day – the number of published works on the problem of Atlantis has exceeded five thousand, and versions about the location of Atlantis has exceeded a dozen. To this should be added a lot of occult-Theosophical speculations on the subject of Atlantis, and a large number of” research “Amateurs – “atlantologists”, whose activities, as A. Goreslavsky writes, “brought more harm than good, because their efforts an interesting problem of ancient civilization completely passed into the category of scientific curiosities.” As soon as the “experts on Atlantis “braved themselves: they attributed to all the peoples of the world the origin of the Atlanteans, called them aliens from space, considered the Atlanteans” ancient Rus”, gave them some unprecedented wisdom and ” secret knowledge” and so on. Well, ” poor people! — you can repeat it after the Marquis de Custine.” “They need to be delusional to be happy.” By the way, Plato calls Atlantis an island, and it does not follow from his text that it was an entire continent. It is also clear from Plato’s text that the Atlantean civilization is as archaic as the bronze age civilization of Ancient Egypt, the Hittites, Mycenae, the Indus valley, and Mesopotamia. Atlanta had kings and priests offered sacrifices to the pagan gods, waged war, their army was armed with spears. Atlanteans were engaged in irrigation of fields with the help of canals, built sea vessels, processed metals: copper, tin, bronze, gold and silver. They probably did not use iron on a large scale. In any case, Plato does not mention it. Therefore, fictions about some” highly developed ” civilization of the Atlanteans can only cause sympathy. It is also doubtful that Atlantis could have existed in 9000 BC. it has Long been correctly noted that at that time “there were no Egyptians who could leave records of these events, nor the Greeks who allegedly performed their feats.” The first traces of Neolithic culture in Lower Egypt date back to about the fifth Millennium BC, and Greek-speaking peoples did not appear in Greece until the second Millennium BC. Consequently, the Atlanteans could not have fought the Greeks in 9600 BC, since the latter did not yet exist. The totality of the facts given in Plato’s story does not allow us to attribute the time of the existence of the Atlantean civilization beyond the second Millennium BC.according to Plato’s instructions, Atlantis was placed behind the pillars of Hercules – the Strait of Gibraltar, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Small archipelagos-the Azores, Canaries, and Bahamas-were called remnants of the sunken continent. Jubilation was caused by an event in 1898 when, while laying a Telegraph cable between Europe and America, a French ship 560 miles North of the Azores lifted a rock from the ocean floor that, on closer inspection, turned out to be a piece of glassy volcanic lava. This lava could only have formed on land at atmospheric pressure. The method of radiocarbon analysis was able to establish that the eruption of the mysterious volcano took place approximately 13 thousand years BC. However, apart from the lava at this place, nothing else could be found. In 1979, the Soviet research vessel Moscow University took a number of photographs of the Ampere seamount. They showed the remains of some artificial structures. But this mystery remained unsolved. In addition, there were serious doubts about the correct interpretation of the images in the photo – most likely, it could be the natural topography of the sea floor. After the discovery of America, there were suggestions that this continent is the legendary Atlantis. This hypothesis, in particular, was supported by Francis bacon. X. Schulten in 1922 came up with the idea that under Atlantis should be understood the famous ancient city of navigators Tartessus, located in Spain, at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river, and went under water about 500 BC.in the 1930s, A. Herrmann hypothesized that Atlantis was located on the territory of modern Tunisia and was covered with the Sands of the Sahara. French scientist F. Gidon assumed that the legend of Atlantis shows the history of sinking into the sea of the North-West coast of France. In 1997, this hypothesis was revived and developed by a Russian scientist – a member of the Geographical society, V. Kudryavtsev, who hypothesized that the so — called Celtic shelf-the bottom of the modern North sea between France and southern England-was flooded as a result of this event. This shelf is shallow and has some semblance of a flooded coastline. Almost in the center of this flooded area is the Bank of little Sol-a remarkable underwater elevation, which, according to Kudryavtsev, was the capital of Atlantis: “a city located on a hill with a cliff towards the sea.” However, according to Kudryavtsev’s hypothesis, Atlantis is not an island, but a part of the European continent, but the author of the study believes that the ancient Egyptian language did not have separate words to convey the concepts of “land” and “island”. During the end of the ice age, as a result of rising ocean levels, a large area in Western Europe was submerged, where Atlantis was located, which was the center of a highly developed culture. Attempts to link the death of Atlantis with the rise in sea level after the melting of glaciers have always met with serious objections. It is believed that this increase was gradual and occurred at various rates over several thousand years. Critics of this hypothesis argued that the flooding associated with this increase could not match the catastrophism described by Plato: “Atlantis perished… one terrible day and one night.” But Plato says: “Later… there were earthquakes and floods of extraordinary destructive power, and in one terrible day and night all your warriors were swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis was also swallowed up by the sea and disappeared.”