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Atlantis

Most people believe Plato’s account of Atlantis. Plato said that it was past the Strait of Gibraltar in the Atlantic Ocean. (Plato, Timaeus). That statement is not true. You may ask, “Why else would their names be similar?” This can actually be explained two different ways. One way to explain the name similarity is that the Atlantic Ocean was really named for a great female warrior named Atlanta. Also “in Greek, Atlantis and Atlantic are adjectival forms of Atlas, meaning ‘(the island) of Atlas’ and the ‘Sea of Atlas’ respectively…”(Origins pg.3). Plato identified Atlantis as being ‘west in the Atlantic Ocean.’ (Plato, Critias) If a civilization was coming out of the Atlantic the pattern of conquest would be a whole lot different than what Plato described. He described a civilization coming out of the Medi-terranean not entering into it. This takes us to the Egyptian version that says Atlantis was west of Egypt, not necessarily in the Atlantic Ocean. . The place where Atlantis is located is about 75 km north of Crete on an island called Thera. If a legend has been passed down for a thousand years before Solon learned it and an additional two hundred years before Plato put it on paper, couldn’t the story, after being told hundreds of times over, expand the little island of Thera into a continent and maybe displace the location a little. Even so, it is easy to believe that, if they were mistaken about where it was, they could have also stretched its age as well. The location of this island though is not the only proof that Thera is most certainly Atlantis. Plato spoke of great technology. Would a system of complicated pipes under the streets be considered a technology for people living in B.C. times? When explorers first tunneled into the side of a Theran ravine and discovered rooms decorated with frescoes, when they located toilets and ceramic pipes and rattan beds, they assumed immediately that they’d been extraordinarily lucky and had stumbled upon the royal palace. Then as streets and buildings-more and more of them- slowly came into light, they realized that this was how ordinary people lived. Baths in the homes of private citizens in so ancient a city? It was difficult to believe, but there it was. Whatever would the palace look like, if it was still intact. (qtd. Unearthing pg.15) These amazing houses with toilets and ceramic pipes have been found in the house of a regular person! Some people in the more rustic parts of the U.S. still don’t have toilets and running water. Under the direction of Christos Doumas , the excavations at Thera are revealing multistoried, exquisitely decorated buildings, complete with bathrooms and running water. Plumbing and other technologies emerging from the ash are of a complexity not seen again until the Islamic Empire of the Middle Ages. The walls and streets are literally honeycombed with pipes. (qtd. Origins pg.4) The obvious technology of these people was great. If the civilization still existed today then we would not have been first on the moon, because their technology would greatly surpass ours. The abundance of plumbing suggests that fresh water ran so plentifully on ancient Thera that it must a sluiced continually through the underground sewage system, flushing the city clean. (qtd. Origins pg.4) Plato also said that they were blessed with hydrothermal vents and he said that Poseidon brought up two springs, one of hot water, the other of cold.(Plato, Critias) On this point the archaeological evidence is in agreement with Plato’s account of the Atlantean. His mystical island is said to have been blessed with hydrothermal vents. (qtd. Unearthing pg.16) The pipes and running water in Thera was explained by Plato as springs brought up by Poseidon. Therans had to have a water source, and evidence shows that hydrothermal vents and springs exist on the island, but as we know they were not brought up by Poseidon. Plato also spoke of the strata of the island and described it as “alternating rings of sea and land with a palace in the center ‘bull’s eye’” (Plato, Critias) His description can be matched with the strata of Thera today, because of the large Outer ring of island and the small bulls eye shaped island located in the middle. Thera used to be a highly inhabited, fertile, and highly developed place. In 1450 B.C., Thera was a round island with a peak in its center. The Island was called Kalliste then, which means-“the most beautiful.” There were lush green forests and the island was covered with fruit. Today the name Thera means ‘fear’ and the island is a mere piece of its former self. It’s not anywhere near as beautiful or inhabitable now. Plato also spoke of the different kinds of stone quarried from under Atlantis. There was some red, some black and some white. The red and black are because of the volcano. The white is because of the salt water build up and chalk. The rocky cliffs of Thera today are the beautiful colors of red, black, and white. If the fact that the stones are exactly the same color isn’t enough to sway you, then it’s time to cover the rituals. Plato also spoke of bulls hunted with ropes in the Temple of Poseidon. They only used staves and nooses to fight the bulls, because they did not want to hurt them. They would also jump over the bulls as they charged. This type of ritual is only heard of in three places in the world: Thera, Minoan Crete, and Atlantis! Pottery found on Crete and Thera show these rituals. Several artifacts found on Crete and Thera link their cultures as being very close except for the fact that Thera was a little more advanced because there were not only pipes on Thera. There are toilets in common households. Not only is there just cold water there, but Therans actually heated there houses with hot water. A lot of people think that Plato simply made up the story of Atlantis. That can’t be true. Plato put a lot of detail into his stories of Atlantis; he would not have put so much detail into it if Atlantis was a made up place that he was using for literary symbolism. He, in fact, in Timaeus stresses the historicity of his account of Atlantis. Plato described the Atlanteans to be a peaceful and prosperous people. On Thera not one of the many beautiful frescoes shows anyone with a weapon. No weapons have been found during the excavation either. So that just goes to show the point of Thera and Atlantis being connected once again by a strand that so many people can’t tie together. Plato described the destruction of Atlantis as saying that waves and earthquakes destroyed it in a single day.Volcanic eruptions don’t only cause lava to flow and dust to spew. They also trigger earthquakes. Earthquakes also trigger large waves, also known as Tsunamis. This, then covers Plato’s account of the waves and earthquakes. Some people may ask, “What about Krakatoa?” The eruption of Thera’s volcano was ten times the force of the eruption of Krakatoa. Thera’s volcano sent ash so far that the Sun was blocked in Egypt for an entire week, and some Egyptian homes were destro-yed. The waves from the blast destroyed the homes of thousands of people on the surrounding islands. The destructive waves even went so far as Minoan Crete where they destroyed many houses along the coast. Some may ask how we know Egyptian homes were damaged. Egyptians were smart enough to keep records. According to the Egyptian records: The land turns around as does a potter’s wheel. The towns are destroyed. Upper Egypt has become a waste. All is ruin. There is no end to the noise. Plague is throughout the land and the river is blood. The hail smote every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field. There remains no green thing throughout all the land of Egypt and the gates and columns and walls are consumed by fire and there is thick darkness in all the land of Egypt. (qtd. Search pg.64) …The sun is covered and does not shine to the sight of men. Life is no longer possible when the sun is concealed behind the clouds. Ra has turned his face away from mankind. If only it would shine even for one hour! No one knows when it is midday. One’s shadow is not discernable. The sun in the heavens resembles the moon… (qtd. Thera pg.149) …It is inconceivable what happened in the land-to its whole extent confu-sion and terrible noise of tumult; oh that earth would cease from noise… the towns are destroyed… Upper Egypt suffered devastation…blood everywhere… pestilence throughout the country… (qtd. Thera pg.149) … For nine days there was no exit from the palace and no one could see the face of his fellow… (qtd. Thera pg.149) If the destruction power of the blast rendered Egypt blind for a week, just imagine what the destruction was like on Crete which is halfway between Egypt and Thera. Or you could just imagine what the destruction on Thera was like. According to the excavations at Thera the Therans were not on the island at the time of the destruction. The volcano obviously had been sending out tremors for months, because excavations have not shown any signs of panic in the households, and the fact that no skeletons have been found since the excavations have started. Records of the destruction of Atlantis can be found not only in Egypt, but also in Holland and as far West as Central America. Talk about a blast that rocked the world. One of Plato’s contemporaries gave an account of an island called Atlanta, which was destroyed by an Earthquake during the Pelloponesian War. This story coincides of Plato’s account of the island being destroyed. Both stories include the floods, earthquakes, and the destruction of an army. In conclusion, the island of what is known as Thera is in fact Atlantis. By examining the facts presented, one can draw the conclusion that Thera is Atlantis. Plato’s account is widely believed by a lot of people, and some think of it as literary symbolism. If the legend was passed down hundreds of years before Plato wrote it, it was probably highly elaborated. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not true. Plato in his works states that this story is in fact a genuine part of history. Work Cited Bacon, Sir Francis. Advancement of Learning Novum Organum New Atlantis. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1952. Chapin, Henry. The Search for Atlantis. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1968 Doumas, Christos G. Thera: Pompeii of the Ancient Aegean. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1983 Ferro, Robert and Michael Grumley. Atlantis: The Autobiography of a Search. New York: Bell Publishing Company, 1970 Origins of Atlantis. http://www.mystae.com/restricted/streams/thera/atlantis.html Pellegrino, Charles. Unearthing Atlantis. New York: Harper Collins, 1991 Spence, Lewis. The History of Atlantis. University Books Inc., 1968