Cyrenaica is a region of North-East Libya, which takes its name from Cyrene, the principal city of the Pentapolis or ‘five cities’ in the region. Following a study of satellite photos, this area has been identified as the location of Atlantis by an anonymous German researcher, who uses the pseudonym of ‘a. petit’. His website(a) offers some interesting images and comments, as well as an on-line book, Emergency Atlantis that is available in both German and English.
The reasoning behind his hypothesis has some merit but fails on a number of crucial points. For example, regarding the size of Atlantis he questions the conventional interpretations of Plato’s text, which speak of ‘an island that was bigger than Asia and Libya together’. How could Cyrenaica, which was only part of ancient Libya, have been more extensive than Libya and Asia together? The same applies to his chosen interpretation of the passage, which is that Atlantis was more powerful than the combined might of Libya and Asia together. This is equally nonsensical as a part cannot be greater than the whole, either in power or extent.
Other matters that are not adequately addressed include the location of the Pillars of Heracles and the rather obvious fact that Cyrenaica is not submerged.
Anyhow, ‘a. petit’ has hedged his bets and accepted that even if his proposed expedition to the region did not discover Atlantis, he was convinced that, at worst, the satellite images have revealed an important archaeological site. The expedition took place in December 2006 and the results have now been published (so far, in German only).