Vladimir Garmatyuk, Vologda
A lot has already been said about Atlantis, thousands of research materials have been written. Scientists, historians, archaeologists, searchers have proposed fifty versions of a possible location around the world (in Scandinavia, in the Baltic Sea, in Greenland, North and South America, in Africa, the Black, Aegean, Caspian Sea, in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and so on ), but the exact location is not named. Why such confusion?
Starting to figure it out, you discover one pattern that all assumptions are initially tied to some kind of similarity, a find of antiquity, a single description, under which (which) the materials were subsequently “fitted”. As a result, nothing worked. There is a similarity, but Atlantis cannot be found.
Let's look for Atlantis in a different way, which in this case (judging by the well-known proposals), has not been used by anyone before. - First, let's take the method of exclusion, where Atlantis could not be. As the circle narrows, we will use all the "benchmarks" that were proposed by the ancient Greek scientist, the sage (428-347 BC) Plato (Aristocles) in his works - Timaeus and Critias. In these documents, the only and rather detailed description of Atlantis, its inhabitants and historical events related to the life of the legendary island is given.
“Aristotle taught me to satisfy my mind only with what reasoning convinces me, and not just the authority of teachers. Such is the power of truth: you are trying to refute it, but your attacks themselves elevate it and give it great value, ”said Galileo Galilei, an Italian philosopher, physicist, mathematician, in the 16th century.
So, let's start "cutting the ends."
- Atlantis could not be in any far corner of the world, and even it was not in the Atlantic Ocean. You will ask why? - Because the war (according to the history of the story) between Athens and Atlantis could not be anywhere except in the Mediterranean Sea on this “patch of civilization” due to the limited development of mankind. The world was great - but developed is small. Close neighbors fight among themselves more often and constantly than distant ones. Athens simply could not, with her army and navy, reach the limits of Atlantis if she were somewhere far away. Water and vast distances were an insurmountable obstacle. “This barrier was insurmountable for people, because ships and shipping did not yet exist,” Plato narrates in his work Critias.
In ancient Greek mythology, which arose many thousands of years later than the time of the death of Atlantis, the only (!) hero Hercules (according to Homer in the XII century BC) performed a feat, traveling to the farthest western point of the world - to the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. “When the Atlas Mountains arose on the path of Hercules, he did not climb them, but made his way through, thus paving the Strait of Gibraltar and connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic. This point also served as a border for navigators in the ancient era, therefore, in a figurative sense, the “Pillars of Heracles (Hercules)” is the end of the world, the limit of the world. And the expression to reach the pillars of Hercules "means" to reach the limit.
Below in the figure in the foreground is the Rock of Gibraltar on the edge of mainland Europe, and in the background on the coast of Africa in Morocco, Mount Jebel Musa is visible.
What western limit of the earth Hercules reached (“end of the world”) was unattainable by other mortals. Thus, Atlantis was closer to the center of the ancient civilization. She was in the Mediterranean. But where exactly?
The pillars of Hercules (according to Plato's story, behind which lay the island of Atlantis) at that time there were seven pairs! Gibraltar, the Dardanelles, the Bosphorus, the Kerch Strait, the mouth of the Nile, etc. The pillars were located at the entrances to the straits, and all had the same name - Hercules (later the Latin name - Hercules). The pillars served as landmarks and beacons for ancient sailors.
“First of all, let us briefly recall that, according to legend, nine thousand years ago there was a war between those peoples who lived on the other side of the Pillars of Hercules, and all those who lived on this side: we will have to tell about this war ... How we have already mentioned that it was once an island that exceeded the size of Libya and Asia (not their entire geographical territory, but rather the areas inhabited in antiquity), but now it has failed due to earthquakes and has turned into impenetrable silt, blocking the way for sailors who would try to swim from us to the open sea, and making navigation unthinkable. (Plato, Critias).
This information about Atlantis, dating back to the 6th century BC. came from the Egyptian priest Sonchis from the city of Sais on the coast of Africa in the western delta of the Nile (the current name of this village is Sa el-Hagar). In ancient times, the Pillars of Hercules were also called the entrance to the main navigable (western) mouth of the Nile, nicknamed the mouth of Heracles, that is, Hercules, where the city of Heracleum was located and there was a temple in honor of Hercules.
When the priest said that the barrier from the remains of the sunken Atlantis blocked the way "from us to the open sea", then, speaking about us (that is, about Egypt), he clearly testified to the location of Atlantis - in the direction from the Egyptian mouth of the Nile to the wide waters of the Mediterranean Sea .
Over time, the silt and floating material from the sunken Atlantis was blown across the sea, and the island itself went even deeper into the abyss. “Since in nine thousand years there have been many great floods (namely, so many years have passed from those times to Plato), the earth did not accumulate in the form of any significant shoal, as in other places, but was washed away by waves and then disappeared into the abyss.” (Plato, Critias).
Next, we exclude other, impossible locations.
Atlantis could not be located in the Mediterranean Sea north of the island of Crete.
Today in that area there are countless small islands scattered over the water area, which does not correspond to the story of flooding (!) and by this very fact excludes the entire territory. But even this is not the main thing. Since the area for the placement of Atlantis (according to the description of its size) in the sea north of Crete would not have been enough. According to the description, Atlantis was much larger.
The expedition of the well-known explorer of the sea depths of the French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau to the area north of Crete on the periphery of the islands of Thira (Santorini, Fera) discovered the remains of an ancient sunken city, but from the above it follows that it belongs to another civilization rather than Atlantis.
In the archipelago of the islands of the Aegean Sea, earthquakes, catastrophes associated with volcanic activity, which led to local subsidence of the earth, are known, and according to new evidence, they occur in our time. For example, a recently sunken medieval fortress in the Aegean Sea near the city of Marmaris in a bay on the coast of Turkey.
Narrowing the search circle, we come to the conclusion that Atlantis could only be in one place against the mouth of the Nile - between the islands of Crete, Cyprus and the northern coast of Africa.
She is there today at a depth and lies, having fallen into a deep basin of the sea.
The failure of an almost oval water area with influx from the coast, horizontal wrinkling from the sliding of sedimentary rocks to the center of the "funnel" is clearly visible from the Internet survey of the seabed from space. The bottom in this place resembles a pit, sprinkled with soft sedimentary rock on top, there is no solid "crust of the continental mantle" under it. And only visible on the body of the Earth, not overgrown with firmament, is a hollow inside.
The Egyptian priest, in his story to Solon about the location of the silt from the flooded Atlantis, gives a link to the Pillars of Heracles (it was logical for him to say - about those closest to him), located at the mouth of the western Nile.
In another case (much later already in Greece), when Plato described the power of Atlantis, we are already talking about other pillars, as it was said above, in the Mediterranean there were then seven of them.
When Plato expounded the text of his work (according to the retelling of Solon and Critias), the Egyptian priest (the primary source of the story) had not been there for 200 years by that time, and there was no one to clarify information about which pillars the conversation was about.
Therefore, the subsequent confusion arose with the location of Atlantis.
“After all, according to our records, your state (Athens) put an end to the insolence of countless military forces that set off to conquer all of Europe and Asia, and kept their way from the Atlantic Sea. [...] On this island, called Atlantis, a kingdom of amazing size and power arose, whose power extended over the whole island, to many other islands and to part of the mainland, and moreover, on this side of the strait they took possession of Libya ( North Africa) up to Egypt and Europe up to Tirrenia (west coast of Italy). (Plato, Timaeus).
The sea that washed the island of Atlantis (between Crete, Cyprus and Egypt) was called the Atlantic in ancient times, it was located in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the modern seas: the Aegean, Tyrrhenian, Adriatic, Ionian.
Subsequently, due to an error in tying Atlantis not to the Nile, but to the Pillars of Gibraltar, the name "Atlantic" Sea automatically spread to the ocean beyond the strait. The once inland Atlantic Sea, due to the inaccuracy of the interpretation of the story of the Egyptian priest and description (Plato, Critias or Solon), became the Atlantic Ocean. As the Russian proverb says: “We got lost in three pines” (more precisely, in seven pairs of pillars). When Atlantis went into the abyss of the sea, the Atlantic Sea disappeared with it.
The priest, telling Solon the story of Atlantis, noted that the victory of Athens brought freedom from slavery to all other peoples (including the Egyptians), who had not yet been enslaved by the Atlantes "on this side of the Pillars of Hercules", spoke about himself - about Egypt.
“It was then, Solon, that your state showed the whole world a brilliant proof of its valor and strength: all, surpassing all in fortitude and experience in military affairs, it first stood at the head of the Hellenes, but because of the betrayal of the allies, it turned out to be left to itself, met alone with extreme dangers and yet defeated the conquerors and erected victorious trophies. Those who were not yet enslaved, it saved from the threat of slavery; all the rest, no matter how much we lived on this side of the Pillars of Heracles, it generously made free. But later, when the time came for unprecedented earthquakes and floods, in one terrible day, all your military strength was swallowed up by the cracked earth; likewise, Atlantis disappeared, plunging into the abyss. After that, the sea in those places has become unnavigable and inaccessible to this day due to the shallowing caused by the huge amount of silt that the settled island left behind. (Plato, Timaeus).
You can even more clarify the place of Atlantis from the description of the island itself.
“Poseidon, having received the island of Atlantis as his inheritance ..., approximately in this place: from the sea to the middle of the island, a plain stretched, according to legend, more beautiful than all other plains and very fertile.” (Plato, Timaeus).
“This whole region lay very high and steeply cut off to the sea, but the whole plain that surrounded the city (capital), and itself surrounded by mountains that stretched to the sea, was a flat surface, three thousand stadia long (580 km.), and in the direction from the sea to the middle - two thousand (390 km.). All this part of the island was turned to the south wind, and from the north it was closed by mountains. These mountains are praised by legend because they surpassed all the present ones in their multitude, size and beauty. The plain ... was an oblong quadrangle, mostly rectilinear. (Plato, Critias).
So, following the description - approximately to the middle of the island of Atlantis stretched a rectangular plain measuring 580 by 390 kilometers, open to the south and closed from the north by large and high mountains. Fitting these dimensions into a geographical map north of the mouth of the Nile, we get that the southern part of Atlantis could completely adjoin Africa (near the Libyan cities of Tobruk, Derna and Egyptian cities on the coast west of Alexandria), and its northern mountainous part could be (but not a fact) - the island of Crete (in the west), and Cyprus (in the east).
In favor of the fact that Atlantis in earlier times (than its mention in the ancient Egyptian papyri), namely, tens of thousands of years ago, was connected with Africa - the story about the animal world of the island speaks.
“Even elephants were found on the island in great numbers, for there was enough food not only for all other living creatures that inhabit the swamps, lakes and rivers, mountains or plains, but also for this beast, of all the animals, the largest and voracious.” (Plato, Critias).
It should also be taken into account that with the end of the ice age, with the beginning of the melting of the northern glaciers, the level of the world's oceans rose by 100-150 meters and, probably, the part of the land that once connected Atlantis and the mainland was gradually flooded. Elephants and the inhabitants of the island of Atlantis (named after their king Atlanta), who came here earlier from the depths of Africa, remained on a large island surrounded by the sea.
The Atlanteans were ordinary people of a modern look, and not four-meter giants, otherwise the Hellenes from Athens would not have been able to defeat them. The insular, isolated position of the inhabitants prompted civilization to a separate active, ahead of external warring barbarians, development (fortunately, everything needed was on the island).
On Atlantis (in its capital, similar to the hill of an extinct volcano), hot springs of mineral water flowed from the ground. This speaks of the seismic activity of the territory located on the "thin" mantle of the earth's crust ... "a spring of cold and a spring of hot water, which gave water in abundance, and, moreover, amazing both in taste and in healing power." (Plato, Critias).
I will not now assume what caused the internal "hiccups" of the Earth, as a result of which Atlantis sank into the basin of the Mediterranean Sea in a day, and then even deeper. But it should be noted that exactly in that place along the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea there is a fault boundary between the African and European continental tectonic plates.
The depth of the sea there today is very large - about 3000-4000 meters. It is possible that a powerful impact of a giant meteorite in North America in Mexico, which, according to the US National Academy of Sciences, occurred 13 thousand years ago (around the same time as the death of Atlantis) and caused an inertial wave and plate movement in the Mediterranean.
Just like continental plates, crawling on top of each other, breaking edges, uplift mountains - the same process, but in the opposite direction, when diverging, it forms subsidence and deep depressions.
The African plate slightly moved away from the European one in its “clockwise” movement, and this was quite enough to lower Atlantis into the abyss of the sea.
The fact that Africa in the history of the Earth has already moved away from Europe and Asia is clearly evidenced by the huge intercontinental fault that runs through the Mediterranean Sea. The fault is clearly visible on the geographical map along the lines (along the seas) of the split in the earth's crust, which go in the direction: Dead Sea - Gulf of Aqaba - Red Sea - Aden - Persian - Gulf of Oman.
It is possible that the current island of Crete was earlier that very northern, high mountainous part of Atlantis, which did not fall into the abyss of the sea, but, breaking away, stayed on the "European continental cornice".
On the other hand, if you look at Crete on a geographical map, then it does not stand on the very cliff of the mantle of the European mainland, but approximately 100 kilometers from the basin of the Mediterranean (Atlantic) Sea. This means that there was no catastrophic break of Atlantis along the current coastline of the island of Crete.
But here we must also take into account the fact that since then the sea level has risen by 100-150 meters (or more) due to the melting of glaciers. It is possible that Crete and Cyprus, as independent units, were part of the archipelago of the island Atlantis.
Historians (V.I. Shcherbakov), archaeologists write: “Excavations in Crete show that even four or five millennia after the alleged death of Atlantis, the inhabitants of this Mediterranean island sought to settle away from the coast. (What is it? Memory of ancestors?). Unknown fear drove them to the mountains. The first centers of agriculture and culture are also located at some distance from the sea.
The former proximity of the location of Atlantis to Africa and to the mouth of the Nile is indirectly evidenced by the vast Kattara depression in North Africa in the Libyan Desert, just 50 kilometers from the Mediterranean coast, west of the Egyptian city of Alexandria. The Qattara depression is minus 133 meters below sea level.
There is another lowland on the tectonic fault line - the Dead Sea (minus 395 meters) in Israel. They testify to a once-completed territorial catastrophe common to all, associated with the subsidence of large tracts of land from the divergence in different directions of the European and African continental plates.
The depression of the Mediterranean in the place of the former Atlantis is too deep.
At first, the silt that rose and then settled to the bottom and subsequent sedimentary deposits somewhat covered Atlantis. The golden capital with its treasures in the temple of Poseidon was in the depths of the sea.
The search for the capital of Atlantis in the southern part of the Mediterranean Sea in the "triangle" between the islands of Crete, Cyprus, the mouth of the Nile will bring a useful result to the "treasury" of the world history of mankind, but this requires research by deep-sea vehicles. To search for the capital - for the attentive reader, other landmarks are indicated in the text ...
For example, Italian explorers-oceanographers in the summer of 2015 on the shelf of the island of Pantelleria, located approximately in the middle between Sicily and Africa, at a depth of 40 meters at the bottom of the sea found a giant man-made column 12 meters long, weighing 15 tons, broken in half. Traces of drilling holes are visible on the column. Its age is estimated at about 10 thousand years (comparable to the era of the Atlanteans). Divers also found the remains of a pier - a ridge of stones half a meter in size, laid out in a straight line, protecting the entrance to the ancient ship harbor.
These findings suggest that the search for the capital of Atlantis is not hopeless.
It is also encouraging that the confusion with the "Pillars of Heracles" has been resolved and the location of Atlantis has finally been established.
Already today, for the sake of historical truth, the Mediterranean basin, at the bottom of which lies the legendary island in memory of Atlantis and its inhabitants, should and can be returned to its ancient name - the Atlantic Sea. This will be the first, important, world event in the search and discovery of Atlantis.