At our May meeting 40 members heard a talk concerning the lost island civilisation of Atlantis. The subject of many films, it is a fascinating topic. What do we know? Where could it have been located? Is there evidence of it today?
Guest speaker, Richard Hutley, explained that mention of Atlantis first appeared in Greek philosopher Plato’s works Timaeus and Critias. In these Plato relates hearing of it from his grandfather, who had learned of it from the Athenian Solon (300 years before Plato’s time). In turn this was learned from an Egyptian priest, who said it had happened 9,000 years before that. The authenticity of Plato’s tale was controversial even at the time with some suggesting could it have been his intent to use it to serve other purposes.
Atlantis was said to be west of the “Pillars of Hercules” (today the Strait of Gibraltar). Its size was said to be around 227 by 340 miles. Plato suggests it was big enough to be home to 1200 ships.
But where exactly was it? Theories suggest locations off the bay of Cadiz, the Azores and the islands of Bermuda where geologically similar conditions exist, or the configuration of land masses suggest the city could have broken away. In this context it has also been suggested it was once part of the Greek island of Santorini and even the Dogger Bank.
In 1882, Ignatious L. Donnelly published “Atlantis: The Antediluvian World,” sparking attempts to locate and learn more about this legendary advanced civilization whose immigrants were thought to have populated much of ancient Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
A common theme running through many theories is that the city was lost due to a sea level of rise of around 600 feet. This links to our knowledge that 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last great ice age, when there was a realignment of the earth’s magnetic field, and sudden climate change causing floods. It also appears to coincide with the tales of great floods in various cultures including Christianity.
After the talk members relaxed with a cooked lunch provided by our excellent caterers.