Saturday, March 14, 2015

Searching for Atlantis from Plato's Description to Modern Technology

People have been fascinated by Plato's descriptions of Atlantis in the Timeas and the Critias since they were written. The descriptions are tantalizing because Plato in the Critias gives a very explicit placement for the sunken island, including measurements and geological features. Since there are apparently no sunken islands in the Atlantic outside the Pillars of Hercules matching Plato's description, many people have concluded that Plato invented the tale to make a philosophical point.

The fact that no island can be found has not deterred some Atlantologists. Locations from Crete to Morocco have been suggested. Each site has it pluses and minuses. The author does an excellent job of tracking down the proponents of each site and getting an explanation of why it should be considered Plato's Atlantis.

In the process of traveling from Malta to Spain, the US, and many points in between, he discovers fascinating archaeological investigations. It's clear that in ancient times the area around the Mediterranean was subjected to repeated cataclysms from the explosion of Thera to tsunamis ravaging the coast of Spain. Using ground penetrating radar, archaeologists have been able to locate some of the ancient cities and map them using advanced technology.

I loved this book. I have always been fascinated by archaeology and by the Atlantis story. This book gives a comprehensive view of what some of the most well-known people in the Atlantology field think today. My only disappointment was the ending. I can sympathize with the author. It's hard to decide which theory to believe, however, I felt that he tossed out too much evidence to come to his preferred choice. However, that has nothing to do with the quality of his research.

I highly recommend this book if you're fascinated by Atlantis and love archaeology.

I reviewed this book for Dutton.