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Researchers Find Possible Atlantis Location 218

Posted by samzenpus
from the does-aquaman-know? dept.
An AC writes"It seems that Plato's Atlantis has a new spot candidate. Some archaeologist used satellite imagery to identify a structure in an once tsunami-ed Spanish plain. From the article: '"This is the power of tsunamis," head researcher Richard Freund told Reuters. "It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about," said Freund, a University of Hartford, Connecticut, professor who lead an international team searching for the true site of Atlantis.'"
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Researchers Find Possible Atlantis Location

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  • Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mseeger (40923) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @04:48PM (#35474556)

    Yet another repeating news story.... How many times Atlantis has been located by now? 100+ times at least. What's the next news? Transparent Aluminium again?

    • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @05:01PM (#35474642)

      The worst part of it is that Plato made up Atlantis just to set up a hypothetical argument. His contemporaries understood this, but eventually it got out of hand and people took it literally. Atlantis really doesn't exist. There may be a lot of "lost" cities and small civilizations, but I doubt any of them are Atlantis.

      • The thing that gets me is that Atlantis is about metaphor rather than reality. I see no difference between a "researcher" and a fundamentalist religious type. Both are interpreting devices used to stir inner dialog as gospel truth.

        If anything atlantis was one of the first science fiction tales. Think of how ridiculous it would be if people turned Star Wars into a cult...

        • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday March 14, 2011 @12:11AM (#35476748) Journal

          Mind you, I'm not saying Atlantis is real, but... ...Heinrich Schliemann was laughed at until he unearthed the city of Troy. They found what is believed to be the cities referred to as Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the Philistine city of Gath (e.g. Goliath's crib). The tomb of Tutankhamen was considered to be a myth.

          Not all tales have pure fabrication as their foundation. Sometimes they drag in real places into the picture.

          I'm thinking that Plato caught wind of (or maybe even grew up with) the oral stories surrounding the Santorini eruption ~1,000 years before he was born. He likely took that and ran with it.

          • by Sique (173459)

            And here lies the problem. Most of the places and names in the Iliad are real, and the people at the end of the 19th century knew some them. Ithaka is real, and Mykene is real, the Hellespont is real, and so is Boeotia. One can take a map of the Mediterran and draw Ulysses' voyage. The only place one couldn't put a finger on was Troy, and that's probably because Troy was not a part of the hellenic world. Actually it was a lydian settlement, called Wilusa, which the Greek pronounced Ilyos or Ilyon and the Ro

        • They'd become outrageously rich puppet masters of talking heads around the world?

          Oh wait, that's the science fiction writings of L. Ron Hubbard, not George Lucas.
        • It's arguable that the earliest sci-fi exists in Hindu literature dating to ~2500 years ago. Flying machines, missiles, energy beams, and space ships are all featured in the Ramayana. Sure, the main characters are godlike beings, but they definitely haz the high tex!

      • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @07:56PM (#35475570) Homepage Journal

        The worst part of it is that Plato made up Atlantis just to set up a hypothetical argument.

        People used to say that about Troy. Then someone dug it up.

        • The difference is that the Trojan War happened only a few hundred years before Homer's time -- a short enough span for some memory of the city to be preserved. According to Plato, Atlantis was destroyed by Athens some 6,500 years before his own day.

        • The main difference is that there are other ancient references to Troy in addition to Homer. As far as I have been able to discover, the only ancient reference we have to Atlantis is one place in Plato's writings.
          • The main difference is that there are other ancient references to Troy in addition to Homer. As far as I have been able to discover, the only ancient reference we have to Atlantis is one place in Plato's writings.

            Actually he mentions it in two different dialogues, though that hardly dulls your point.

        • The worst part of it is that Plato made up Atlantis just to set up a hypothetical argument.

          People used to say that about Troy. Then someone dug it up.

          I'm pretty sure no one ever said that someone made up Troy just to set up a hypothetical argument.

        • by Ecuador (740021)

          Nope, that is misinformed, not insightful.
          Troy was never a hypothetical argument. Homer gave a fictitious account of a war 300 years before his time, but no-one in antiquity at least doubted Troy or the Trojan war itself.
          Atlantis, on the other hand, to anyone who reads Plato, is obviously a fictional place. There was no doubt about it in antiquity, as there is no doubt about it now for people who read Plato. It might not be that obvious if you just read the translated excerpt that mentions the story of Atla

      • by JWSmythe (446288)

        The worst part of it is that Plato made up Atlantis just to set up a hypothetical argument.

        The sad part is that there are so many people who take old fictional works "set up as a hypothetical argument" and treat them like some mystical work where the words are taken verbatim, even if they are contradictory even in the same work.

        I have no doubt that the Atlantis story was made up from somewhere. Circular built cities, or from Plato's own imagination, it came from somewhere. I

        • I have no doubt that the Atlantis story was made up from somewhere. Circular built cities, or

          There is a hypothesis that the topology was inspired by the famous circular harbor at Carthage.

      • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Interesting)

        by blincoln (592401) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @09:02PM (#35475922) Homepage Journal

        "The worst part of it is that Plato made up Atlantis just to set up a hypothetical argument. His contemporaries understood this, but eventually it got out of hand and people took it literally."

        I've seen this statement before, and I've always wondered - is there a Cliff's Notes version of the alleged supporting evidence for it? I mean, actual statements from people of Plato's era along the lines of "that Plato sure does like inventing ancient cities that never existed as back-story for his work! I bet in a few thousand years, people will think Atlantis actually existed, even though all of us here in Ancient Greece know that that is completely false!".

        I ask because art critics and members of the "soft sciences" have a terrible habit of making statements like this, and then those statements become accepted as fact, when really it was just someone's opinion. One of the great things about art is that different people take away different things from each work, but the downside is that many of those people also assume that whatever *they* took away was what the creator of that work actually intended.

        • What I read in a related article is that the researchers found "echo cities" laid out according to the design of Atlantis described by Plato, this is their evidence that the people of the area were (possible) survivors of the Atlantis.

          A timeline of the cities' construction and Plato's account would be interesting.

        • Re:Yawn (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ebuck (585470) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @10:46PM (#35476416)

          Well, either the ancient historian Strabo is lying when he said that Aristotle said that Atlantis was just "made up" to further examine a hypothetical argument, or Aristotle was a pupil of Plato, but without some "key" knowledge of one of his most important thought experiments, or Plato was telling the truth but he couldn't get his key pupil to agree?

          Aristotle's works are many things, but they don't seem to indicate that he had an axe to grind against Plato, at least not one so sharp as to make the argument that Plato was a liar. I'm inclined to believe that Aristotle was right, that his teacher made up Atlantis to flesh out an argument, much like Ann Ryan made up a series of books (and heroes) to flesh out her argument.

          The weakness in the above belief is that it's more-than-second-hand information. The works of Aristotle which purport to refute the real existence of Atlantis were destroyed. We only have Strabo's account of what Aristotle said about what Plato meant to go by.

          That there is some evidence that Strabo truly believed in Atlantis and that he still bothered to write Aristotle's refutation of it's existence lends me to believe in Strabo's accounting of Aristotle's refutation more.

          After reading a description of Atlantis, I doubt you'll ever find it (or that it ever existed). I have a hard time believing that any civilization could be so orderly to get all citizens to build their cities in circles. And building a circular canal means a spoke and ring system of waterways, when any semi-sane engineer would just settle for a spoke and hub system, no need to lay out perfect rings. Even enormously planned communities like Washington, D. C. and Brasilia have less structural control than what's implied.

          • by mosb1000 (710161)

            I'm inclined to believe that Aristotle was right, that his teacher made up Atlantis to flesh out an argument, much like Ann Ryan made up a series of books (and heroes) to flesh out her argument.

            I'm pretty sure she wrote a series of books. The distinction is the same is the difference between imagining a house and building one. And while it's true that she made up characters and stories, most of the places in her books are real. Just as in comic books most places are real (or are at least based on real pl

          • Actually Thera before the eruption had a circular like harbor structure, when thera was blasted off the ground by the eruption the area was unpassable by ships thanks to the volcanic output for quite some time.
            Also Thera was one of the highest developed civilizations of its time (they even had a water toilet and multi floored buildings)
            so at least the memory regarding Thera could be related to Plato. I also dont believe Atlantis as such ever existed, but there are several occasions in history which could u

        • When I studied Relig
        • by Ecuador (740021)

          It is not "alleged supporting evidence". Plato's dialogues are very well known works, which are available in many translations. They are very interesting works, definitely worth a read if you are the "reading" type, so you can see for yourself.
          I remember once I realized that "Atlantis" was first referenced in the TImaeus dialogue, I went back to the original (I can read ancient Greek, and had read Plato before), and was surprised to see how obviously it is a fictional place.
          So, if you want see for yourself

      • I figure that by the year 4011, Slashdot (or its analogue) will be posting stories about some dude claiming to have found the remains of the 3-kilometer-long "RMS Gigantic", as described in the popular tale by the ancient author called Spielberg.

        (...and there will *still* be jokes about hot grits, jokes about Soviets, and the occasional goatse link. And people will still bitch about the new layout).

    • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Informative)

      by schmidt349 (690948) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @05:18PM (#35474728)

      This from a soon-Ph.D in Classics.

      Atlantis was a story Plato made up in the course of a philosophical discussion. It goes no further back in the literary record unless you want to twist a couple mentions of "Atlas' island" in the earlier corpus like balloon animals.

      • by Nikkos (544004)
        So did ya find that secret out in his new tell-all book?

        Plato used real people in his writings and there's no way to tell at which times is he using their own words and meanings and at which times he's inventing them. The discussion has long gone on and the simple answer is we don't and won't ever know. This is why the words of Socrates are more often credited to Plato - Socrates didn't write anything, so we're taking Plato at his word. Likewise there is no way to tell for certain if references to "lore"
        • [quote]there's no way to tell at which times[/quote]

          [quote]we don't and won't ever know[/quote]

          [quote]Likewise there is no way to tell[/quote]

          Thanks so much for agreeing with me!

    • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Informative)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Sunday March 13, 2011 @05:26PM (#35474762)

      Even this particular proposal isn't new. A half-dozen archaeologists have been studying this national park in southern Spain as a possible site [wikipedia.org] for the past 15 years or so, and this is just the latest round of press releases.

    • Re:Yawn (Score:4, Funny)

      by Dan541 (1032000) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @05:50PM (#35474888) Homepage

      It's only a matter of time until people start searching for middle earth.

      • Re:Yawn (Score:4, Funny)

        by Bender0x7D1 (536254) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @06:16PM (#35474998)

        It's only a matter of time until people start searching for middle earth.

        Middle-earth can be found in the area we now call New Zealand.

      • by mseeger (40923)

        They will have much better chances than fining Atlantis. Tolkien left a lot more clues behind than Platon did :-).

        Funny thing is: Platon probably "invented" Atlantis to give some background to a story too...

    • Yet another repeating news story.... How many times Atlantis has been located by now?

      Zero, which is why we should wait until someone finds Atlantis to say "Researchers FIND atlantis."

      That doesn't mean the methodology or the finding here isn't interesting.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Up next, using cell phones to track traffic patterns. I can't wait!

    • Yeah, yeah: "Man land on Mars" is a dupe, because we already talked about man one day going to Mars.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @04:50PM (#35474562)

    Perhaps the idea of Atlantis... *sunglasses* ...isn't dead in the water after all.

    YEAAAAAAAAAH!

  • Atlantis...? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @04:55PM (#35474592)

    Seems like they don't know anything about Tartessos [wikipedia.org]. That would be a real explanation for the ruins found.

    • "Seems like they don't know anything about Tartessos"

      Of course. How in hell would a Spanish Classics Ph.D student know the slightest bit about Tartessos.

      Did you consider that what this student fellow meant might be that Atlantis is an old memory of a Tartessian debacle?

    • by mangu (126918)

      Seems like they don't know anything about Tartessos. That would be a real explanation for the ruins found.

      They certainly know about it, and that's probably the explanation for the city they found. Problem is, few people ever heard of Tartessos. It's a question of marketing, claim it's Atlantis to get press coverage, then announce it's Tartessos to get scientific recognition.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @04:56PM (#35474598)

    Egad! The invention of "Atlantis" was part of a political satire play written by Plato to show how Athens (Represented by a mythical kingdom of Atlantis in the play) had squandered its destiny and reputation by dominating Greek shipping by warfare and demanding tithes from other Greek nations. The mythical Atlantis represented Athens in the play and was sunk to show that the result of such political arrogance resulted in destruction. There never was such a place, nor was Plato doing anything else but critiquing Athens without mentioning it by name. (He remembered the fate of Socrates.) You just as well might search for the land of the Golden Fleece. (Wait! They did just that 200 years ago. Today we laugh at the idea knowing it was just a story.)

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      Today we laugh at the idea knowing it was just a story.

      So was Troy.

      • by ebuck (585470)

        Today we laugh at the idea knowing it was just a story.

        So was Troy.

        You're argument has a parallel: since some of the UFOs have indeed been found to be weather balloons, it's irrefutable proof that extra terrestrials exist.

    • The mythical Atlantis represented Athens in the play and was sunk to show that the result of such political arrogance resulted in destruction.

      That's not exactly correct. Atlantis is set up as the anti-thesis, or opposite, of Athens, an anti-Athens, if you will. The second paragraph of the Wikipedia article[*] on Atlantis [wikipedia.org] states:

      In Plato's account, Atlantis was a naval power lying "in front of the Pillars of Hercules" that conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa 9,000 years before the time of Solon

    • Actually yes , it is most likely, but there might be some truth behind it nevertheless. There was a big invasion of the eastern mediterranean sea by of what the egyptians called the sea peoples. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Peoples [wikipedia.org], it was a mass migration combined with an invasion which brought several highly developed bronze age cultures to a downfall and Egypt on the brink of collapse.
      No one really knows who those people were, but they are a fact conserved in letters and writings of that period.
      They

  • Make it stop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @04:57PM (#35474604) Homepage Journal
    The truly boggling thing about people who believe in Atlantis is that they believe in Atlantis. Even Wikipedia doesn't [wikipedia.org]. (Or, at least, whatever corrupt bureaucrat obsessively controls that article.) Seriously, Slashdot, this is the kind of crap we're told we should expect from the "History" Channel, not our favourite hyperbolic tech news site!
    • Time was, you wouldn't even expect this from the history channel. It's even weird to say that now.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Most "mythical" cities have turned out to be real. Often they are less awe inspiring that the fables but they are generally real. Odds are there was a city that corresponded to the stories of Atlantis that was less impressive but the odds of it being identified are nearly zero. In truth it may have not been called Atlantis by the residents. One of the problems is over the last 10,000 years there have been hundreds of small civilizations that have not been found or identified. In a single location there coul

      • Most "mythical" cities have turned out to be real.

        Most? Can you support that claim?

        It will probably never be identified but it probably existed.

        If you had the most rudimentary understanding of Plato's "Dramatic Dialogues", you'd realize that there's not the slightest reason to believe it ever existed.

        Plato wrote fictions, usually starring the late Socrates, to convey his philosophy. The Socrates we all know and love is probably more nearly Plato's sock puppet than the real man. And any "ancient history" worked into the stories is made up to support the philosophy.

        • by gtall (79522)

          It is easy to support. In general, most myths have a basis in fact....take for instance, the Easter Bunny.

          Let's thank T'ealc from Stargate for that one, absolutely priceless.

      • Most "mythical" cities have turned out to be real.

        A baseless assumption, but let's go with it.

        Odds are there was a city ...

        No. Just like with a coin, the odds on the next flip remain the same. Atlantis being an actual site is true or not. Just because other cities (I really don't recall all that many verified finds) have been found says not one thing about the odds of this one being found, or real. The fact that Plato named his work "Dramatic Dialogues", says a bit more.
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      And the 7 Cities of Troy [wikipedia.org] didn't exist either right? I thought so. There's been enough things lost through disasters that we could be searching for a very long time.

      • Before Schliemann nobody knew for sure about the reality of Troy and the whole Homer opus with its mix of men and gods. Atlantis is a different case, where a very modern tale is fabricated from twisted interpretations of old passages, and that fabrication is very well documented as a hoax. Atlantis is in the same category as Chariots_of_gods [wikipedia.org] for example.

      • by ebuck (585470)

        And the 7 Cities of Troy [wikipedia.org] didn't exist either right? I thought so. There's been enough things lost through disasters that we could be searching for a very long time.

        In this case, it's more like searching for the 7 cities of Gold than the 7 cities of Troy. Just saying.

  • by JonBuck (112195) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @04:57PM (#35474606)

    I know this is armchair archeology, but I thought that the evidence pointed at that island and the Minoan civilization in general to be the source of the Atlantis legend. The tsunami from that caldera eruption did wipe out Minoan coastal towns and opened the way for the Mycenaeans to expand.

    • Re:Thera/Santorini? (Score:5, Informative)

      by rhathar (1247530) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @05:37PM (#35474820) Homepage
      There is no "general source" for the Atlantis "legend". There's a very specific one. It's Plato [wikipedia.org]. He made it up for a story.
      • by Mr_Huber (160160)

        And then some people, unwilling to give Plato credit for an imagination, insist he must be retelling some local legend or relating some half remembered folk history.

        • by Evil Pete (73279)

          You haven't read The Critias or The Timaeus have you?

          Plato goes to great lengths to try to persuade the reader that this is in fact a true story based on the what was told to a relative of his which Plato committed to memory when he was a boy.

          Quite some time back I grew curious about the legend and invested some time in trying to find out if it is just an invention or whatever. And if there is any truth then where is the "real" Atlantis. My conclusion was that Plato probably heard some stories about past di

          • Plato goes to great lengths to try to persuade the reader that this is in fact a true story based on the what was told to a relative of his which Plato committed to memory when he was a boy.

            See, if you read the _rest_ of Plato, you find that this is a very common trope for him. He distances himself from the truth of a statement by putting it at multiple layers of indirect speech. Also, the character doing the talking is quasi-fictional to begin with (Plato's Socrates is _not_ the historical Socrates).

            • Plato goes to great lengths to try to persuade the reader that this is in fact a true story based on the what was told to a relative of his which Plato committed to memory when he was a boy.

              See, if you read the _rest_ of Plato, you find that this is a very common trope for him. He distances himself from the truth of a statement by putting it at multiple layers of indirect speech.

              And in this case it was "a heard it from b, who heard it from c, who heard it from..." Up to about g or so.

              And this in a dramatic dialogue, which was a fictional vehicle for Plato's views. In this case, a report on the after-dinner conversation at a party Plato didn't attend (if it happened at all).

      • Although it is certainly possible he used the general vague recollection (various minor references in legend and story) of the Minoan civilization as a template to provide slightly more credibility to his story.
  • by Kittenman (971447) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @04:58PM (#35474608)
    I guess these things get funded by crackpots with more money than sense; the same breed who want to track down Noah's ark, Moses's sandal and the gourd left behind by Brian.
    • Typical! (Score:4, Funny)

      by savi (142689) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @11:47PM (#35476662)

      In any historical discussion on slashdot, it's only a matter of time until the gourd-deniers show up. Bunch of crazies. They're the only group more persistent than creationists and more dense than global warming deniers.

  • I’ve read thoroughly Plato‘s Republic and although I couldn’t spot where Atlantis ended, it’s clear where it began: a dialogue.
  • by lordshipmayhem (1063660) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @05:07PM (#35474672)
    I have it on very good authority that Atlantis is not in Spain. It's in Florida, assigned to Launch on Need Mission STS-335. Hopefully it never is needed, but instead goes directly to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
  • The continent of Atlantis was an island
    Which lay before the great flood
    In the area we now call the Atlantic Ocean.
    So great an area of land,
    That from her western shores
    Those beautiful sailors journeyed
    To the South and the North Americas with ease,
    In their ships with painted sails.
    To the East Africa was a neighbour,
    Across a short strait of sea miles.

  • I'm appalled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zill (1690130) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @05:30PM (#35474792)
    Is anyone else sickened by these people that capitalize on natural disasters?
  • They are trying to capitalize on a disaster that probably killed tens of thousands of people in order to get media attention for their questionable theories.
  • Everyone knows Atlantis is in the Pegasus galaxy.

  • by DrXym (126579)
    Anyone claiming anything a site is Atlantis is either a crank or a sell out. Serious archaeologists do not make such bold proclamations unless they want to be skinned alive by their peers. And throwing in a hook about a tsunami seems like ghoulish self promotion in the current circumstances
  • While it is hard to know with certainty that the site in Spain in Atlantis...

    Yep, that's what the world has been waiting for. More unproven speculation about Atlantis.

  • Usually Atlantis gets discovered every six months, but I haven't heard anything for nearly two years!

    (Insert usual diatribe about the purpose of Plato's fiction, and the idiocy of anyone who believes it. Sorry, but I'm tired of typing it up everytime a new discovery is announced on Slashdot.)

    • by ebuck (585470)

      Usually Atlantis gets discovered every six months, but I haven't heard anything for nearly two years!

      (Insert usual diatribe about the purpose of Plato's fiction, and the idiocy of anyone who believes it. Sorry, but I'm tired of typing it up everytime a new discovery is announced on Slashdot.)

      So I was telling this really bad joke on the Internet, and I heard a lan tis!

  • Great, will Joe Flanaghan and David Hewlett be back as Col Sheppard and Dr Mckay ? I could care less about Ronin and Teyla

  • by dlgeek (1065796) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @10:17PM (#35476294)
    I know exactly where Atlantis is! It's at 28 degrees, 35 minutes, 8.89 seconds north by 80 degrees, 39 minutes, 17.97 seconds west.

    (When will slashcode ever support non-ascii symbols?)
  • I thought we already covered this one,..... they left a while back to fight the wraith, and wont be back till the finale....in that ship of theirs,
    then we will all see what atlantis looks like....sheesh!

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