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The lost city of Faro (Atlantis)?
He breezed into the hotel foyer grabbed me by the arm and escorted me to the bar. “You do know” he said, “that there is no other proposed location for Atlantis that has so many clear similarities than Faro. For centuries different locations have been suggested but, Faro is head and shoulders above all of them.”
I was in the company of Dr. Roger Coghill, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the legendary hidden city of Atlantis. He had taken time out during a brief stopover in Lisbon to meet with me. The next morning he would be on his way to Athens to convince delegates attending a conference in honour of the Greek philosopher, Plato, that without doubt Faro is the site of the ancient city of Atlantis.
Sipping a large beer the doctor continues: “Plato describes precisely the route to Atlantis via the Pillars of Hercules, or in other words the Straits of Gibraltar, passing by Gadeira which is identified as the modern Cadiz. This takes you in a north-north west direction and according to Plato leads you to a large island or peninsula. This can only mean the Iberian-Lusitanian peninsula.”
I put it to him that Faro is not an island. “Quite so” he replies. “But listen, Plato states that Atlantis is in the middle of a south facing coastline with high cliffs of red, black and yellow colours. Here he is definitely describing the Algarve. And of course Faro is no longer an island but it is encircled with concentric rings of land and water, as pictured by Plato. But most importantly the interior soil around Estoi, which is slightly north of Faro, is abundant in seashells which means at one time it must have been under water thereby making Faro an island.”
By now my adrenalin is flowing. For the past fifteen years could I really have been living within a few miles of the site of Atlantis? My imagination is fired yet more by Dr. Coghill as he describes how the Algarve also matches Plato’s description of temperate fertile soil, a canal system and the mountains further distant where copper was, and still is, mined. I order two more beers as the doctor explains how Plato’s measurements fit the topography of the Faro region and how he describes it as the stepping off point to the “opposite continent – America.” Without question, he continues “this is where Columbus set out from to find the new world. And do not forget there is a strong tradition placing Atlantis in the area along the Algarve-Palos coast where Columbus prepared his approach to Queen Isabella of Spain. He stayed at Palos and exchanged stories about Atlantis with an old monk who had previously been Isabella’s tutor.”
Dr. Coghill, to boot a Latin and Greek scholar, lays more evidence before me: “Look at the way Plato describes the word ‘Atlantis’. What the inhabitants called it is not known, but if you were a Greek you would read it as Atlantis. This inscription with the recurring ATLANS script is to be seen all over the Algarve, in a language which no one has been able to decipher. There is even a mosaic in Faro Museum whose centrepiece is an image of Neptune, the Roman equivalent of Poseidon, whom Plato claims founded Atlantis.” He points out that Elena Wishaw, author of ‘Atlantis in Iberia’ and books on the subject by Snr. Belchoir, former Faro Mayor, which are to be found in Faro Museum’s library – and also the historical writings of the Moorish archaeologist, Razes, confirm the existence of a very sophisticated architecture beneath the earliest historical remains to be unearthed in the region.
By this time I am convinced, but the doctor in a final flurry adds further credence to his argument : “There is evidence that in the past elephants existed in the Algarve. It is irrigated by ditches and cisterns, enjoys two harvests a year, is prone to earthquakes and is covered in mudflats. It also enjoys hot and cold springs. All of these factors match perfectly Plato’s description of Atlantis.”
Dr. Coghill first visited Faro in 1960 where he inspected the copper mines of the interior. But it was not until the 1980’s that he grasped the implications of what Plato was actually saying and understood the incredible similarities between his description of Atlantis and the geography and archaeology of Faro and the Algarve. He has also come up with further astonishing evidence of how ancient Faro civilisation had discovered electric current flow and applied it commercially. During 1982, whilst inspecting Praia de Tesos, he happened upon several pieces of artifacts which were identical to those that had been unearthed on the biblical site of Babylon. Plato’s dialogue, which the doctor has read in its original classical Greek form, covers all of these points.
The doctor’s credentials are beyond question. With a string of letters after his name he is also a Member of The Royal Society of Medicine and Consultant on Radioactive Appliances and Systems to all of the major UK TV channels including the BBC, ITN and Channel 4. In this capacity he has acted as an expert witness on radioactive legal cases in all six continents. He has lectured on Atlantis and the Faro connection in all of the major capitals of the world including the Theosophical Society in London. Atlantis aficionados travel in their thousands from all over the world to attend such conferences. Three volumes of his work are about to be published, but due to the continuous updating of information it has not been possible to finalise a finished version.
But before we part company I ask him why news of his findings do not appear to have surfaced in the host country Portugal. “You tell me,” he replies, “the facts have been presented to the Algarve Tourist Board but in all honesty I think it is beyond their comprehension. Can you imagine what the reaction would have been if Atlantis had been pin pointed as being in Florida or California. By now Atlantis theme parks would proliferate, Disney Land would feel under threat and we would all be eating Atlantis beef-burgers. Identification of Faro as the seat of an advanced civilisation in contact with ancient Egypt between 11,000 – 10,500 BC would fill one of the biggest gaps in prehistory. It would lift Faro to the status of the Acropolis – but try telling that to the tourist board.”