Atlantis Found?

Archaeologists may have found the lost city of Atlantis. And, no, not the one in the Bahamas.

Archaeologists may have found the lost city of Atlantis. And, no, not the one in the Bahamas.

TIME (“Lost No Longer? Researchers Claim to Have Found ‘Atlantis’ in Spain“):

Just days after the world witnessed the devastating power of natural disasters in Japan, some scientists say they have strong proof of the location of the mythical “lost City of Atlantis,” destroyed by a tsunami thousands of years ago.

Historically, the lost city has been commonly believed to be in the middle of an ocean. The new proposed site of Atlantis is 60 miles inland, submerged in the swampy Dona Ana Park north of Cadiz, Spain.

“This is the power of tsunamis,” Professor Richard Freund of the University of Hartford told Reuters. “It is so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that’s pretty much what we’re talking about.”

In 2009 and 2010, the team of archaeologists and geologists used deep-ground radar, digital mapping and underwater technology to survey the marshlands of the Dona Ana Park. Freund’s team discovered a series of memorial cities, believed to be built by Atlantis refugees, which gave the researches added confidence in their findings.

The team’s findings were unveiled Sunday evening in “Finding Atlantis,” a Discovery Channel special.

The legend of Atlantis dates back to the Greek philosopher Plato, who described the island as “larger than Libya and Asia put together” in 360 B.C.E. Plato wrote that “in a single day and night…[Atlantis] disappeared into the depths of the sea,” siting earthquakes and flooding 9,000 years earlier as the causes for the city’s destruction. Plato’s Atlantis is located in front of the Pillars of Hercules, the ancient name for the Straits of Gibraltar, the narrow piece of water separating Morocco and Spain.

The most recent alleged Atlantis finding came in 2009, when a British man found an unnatural pattern in the Atlantic Ocean off the cost of North Africa while searching on Google Ocean.

While interesting in its own right, I’m not sure how we’d actually know if found ruins are actually the fabled Atlantis. Certainly, none of the discoveries are “bigger than Libya and Asia put together.” Then again, Plato likely had no true comprehension of the size of Asia.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. EJ says:

    Because I can nitpick 😉 – Libya at the time was just the cost of the country and probably only referred to the western region of Tripolitania. The eastern region was known as Cyrene or Cyrenia (these two areas where only merged under the Otomans and then later under Italian colonialism). And Asia from the Greek perspective at the time, usually only referred to Turkey and perhaps Syria. Later on, under Rome and onwards, the area became known as Asia Minor.

    Still a big chunk of land, but not as big as we think of today when someone says Asia – he wasn’t meaning the whole continent.

  2. James Joyner says:

    EJ: That makes sense. I vaguely recalled that the ancient conception of “Asia” was something much smaller but didn’t recall the details and wasn’t interested enough to do the research.

  3. sam says:

    Atlantis = Santorini

  4. James Joyner says:

    There is an Atlantis on Paradise Island, Bahamas.

  5. Wiley Stoner says:

    I find it really difficult to make a statement about what Plato knew and what he did not know. I guess there are some who are gifted with that knowledge or they just speculate. Modern science was unaware Greeks knew how to build computers (Antikythera device). Was it not a Greek who stated “there is no truth, if there was you could not know it, and if you knew, you could not tell it”?

  6. poe ghost says:

    One the minoans are not the Atlanteans, but may fit the bill of their philosophical, at least, progenity. aside from the possibilty that the minoans were wipe out but the same “flood” the effected china, during the time of Yu, about 9000 years ago, give or take, i know th chinese hisory better, atlantis is more probably derive from early post pangean societies, circa 300 – 500 thousand years ago, now that said atlantis’ three most likely site would be the north eastern atlantic, the mid western atlantic or the area we know as the burmuda triangle.