An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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The Cyclades are a group of twenty-four islands in the Greek Aegean Sea. Vasilios Kapsimalis from the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research related to the 2005 Atlantis conference how the Cyclades, which originally had a land surface of around 7000 sq kilometres, lost 75% of their area following the raising of sea levels after the last Ice Age. A pre-Greek civilisation flourished there, which had no written language, but is probably best known today for its distinctive marble figurines. The origin of the Cycladic culture is hotly debated with Egyptian and/or Phoenician connections as the leading contenders.

Paulino Zamarroin his book[024] locates Atlantis in the Cyclades, with its capital on Melos. He contends that around 5500 BC, following the breaching of the Gibraltar Damthe Cyclades were inundated and as the waters of the Mediterranean rose, the plug in the Bosporus broke, enlarging dramatically what was then a much smaller, freshwater, Black Sea.

In connection with Zamarro’s theories it is worth noting that it is conventionally accepted that the Cyclades were first inhabited around 5000 BC. If Zamarro is correct, an earlier occupation date is possible but the rising waters of the Mediterranean would have submerged the evidence for it. Consequently, any reconstruction following the inundation would be inland from the original coastline and would only show an approximate date of no earlier than 5000 BC.

Diamantis Pastras has claimed that 3,500 years ago the Cyclades together with the island of Astipalea had formed a single landmass and was the location of Atlantis. He bases his theory on an interpretation of a map in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Jason Colavito had an interesting piece(a) on a geologists’ view when he wrote that “In 2010, geologist Kalliopi Gaki-Papanastassiou and several colleagues proposed a similar theory identifying the Cycladic

Kalliopi Gaki-Papanastassiou

Kalliopi Gaki-Papanastassiou

island with Atlantis in a chapter of the edited volume Coastal and Marine Geospacial Technology, though they admitted it was speculation based on the unproven assumption of the existence of a city-state and based on throwing out details from Plato that didn’t match. However, they felt confident that the existence of Neolithic cultures in the surrounding area proved that an advanced culture existed between them. They did not propose a method whereby knowledge of this city-state—but no other aspect of Neolithic culture—transmitted from the Cyclades to Egypt to Plato. Gaki-Papanastassiou also claims to have found Homeric Ithaca by studying prehistoric coastlines.”