Lost City Of Atlantis Found? In Spain?
    By Hank Campbell | March 14th 2011 04:12 PM | 12 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Tsunamis are big news for the last few days and there may be an ancient reason along with a current one.  A group of researchers are saying a tsunami likely destroyed the fabled lost city of Atlantis...and it is underneath mud flats in southern Spain. 

    The team's findings are the subject of "Finding Atlantis," a National Geographic Channel special that aired this weekend (and you can watch again tomorrow evening).

    University of Hartford professor Richard Freund,  who led the international team searching for Atlantis, told Reuters, "It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about."

    They used a satellite photo to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain and used a combination of deep-ground radar and underwater equipment to conduct a survey. They now say in the marshlands of the Donaña National Park they have found Atlantis.


    Why the new claim, when there have been so many that never held water (pardon the pun)?   Their belief is the cities nearby were "memorial cities" to Atlantis built by refugees after the city's destruction.   Atlantis, as Plato wrote 2,600 years ago, was an island situated in the Pillars of Hercules - the Straits of Gibraltar in ancient times, it is said.

    The cities nearby, Freund believes, are designed to emulate the multi-ringed dominion that would be Atlantis.  Using Plato's writing, Freund says, has led searchers to focus on the Atlantic and Mediterranean.    The search has been on since 2004, when the satellite photos became public knowledge.

    Now, we are not going to find alien laser rays or hovercraft or whatever else has cropped up around this thing.   Plato is the only person to ever mention it and, because humans are humans, an entire mythology has built up around it that won't endure the light of truth.

    Not everyone is buying that this is Atlantis at all.   Juan Villarías-Robles, who works in anthropology for the Spanish government's research group CSIC, says the television special is exaggerated and lacks any science basis for its claims.

    He said while the photos west of Gibraltar seemed to show buried rectangular buildings and concentric circles of a buried city near a beach, it only 'became Atlantis' because of National Geographic interest.     He told the Telegraph, "Richard Freund was a newcomer to our project and appeared to be involved in his own very controversial issue concerning King Solomon's search for ivory and gold in Tartessos, the well documented settlement in the Donaña area established in the first millennium BC.   He became involved in what we were doing and provided funding for probes through his connections with National Geographic and Associated Producers.

    "He left and the film company told us the documentary would be finished in April or May. But we did not hear from him and are very surprised it has appeared so soon and makes such fanciful claims."

    Villarías-Robles went on to say the entire "memorial cities" idea was false and says his team plan to offer their own conclusions later this year.


    So if they find a pineapple under the sea with an absorbent, yellow, and porous sponge living inside....?

    >>Not everyone is buying that this is Atlantis at all.<<

    And, they probably won't until they dig up that sign that says:
    Atlantis, next 7 exits.

    In the overall scheme of things I really could not care less whether this is Atlantis or not, or even if Atlantis is ever found. Plato presented us with an interesting story and, as the article points out, he is the only writer of antiquity who ever mentions such a lost city. It is a romantic story that makes for good movies, but I think it is nothing more than an adapted screenplay.

    ... some readers set up an unfair standard and require in the accounts of the ancient myths the same exactness as in the events of our own time ...

    Diodorus Siculus - 49 B.C.


    I am the author of the "Atlantis refers to Tartessos" theory which inspired the "Finding Atlantis" documentary by the National Geographic Channel. Maybe it will be helpful if I post some comments here.

    My theory was published in the June 2004 issue of the journal "Antiquity". My scientific article inspired the team headed by Sebastian Celestino Perez and Juan Jose Villarias Robles to perform the archaeological and geological expedition in the Donana National Park. Their work began in 2005. They performed two expeditions in the Marisma de Hinojos to test the theory. The first one (for one week) in July 2006 and the second one (for five weeks) in August and September 2009. Richard Freund and collaborators contributed significantly to the geological and geophysical work of the second expedition. I am not a member of the two teams, but I stay in contact with them.

    The National Geographic documentary was performed in November 2010. I was filmed on 8 November, Juan Villarias (and collaborators) the following day.

    My theory was published here:

    The preprint of the second one of these articles was posted here:

    A very brief version of my Tartessos = Tarshish = Atlantis theory can be found here:

    I posted a very brief review (unfortunately with some minor mistakes) of the preliminary results of the archaeological expedition of the team headed by Celestino and Villarias here:

    I hope that these comments may be helpful.

    Rainer: your comments are certainly helpful to me.

    I have long been fascinated by Plato.  As to his story of Atlantis, I think it needs to be read in the context of the whole of his writings together with the whole of Greek mythology and their world view.  One must also note the patterns of human migration and the patterns of myth migration.

    If one starts with the view that the 'Pillars of Hercules' refers and has always referred to the Straits of Gibraltar then one's view of Plato's sources of inspiration is bound to be geographically constrained to the west of Greece.

    However, in view of the migration patterns which preceded the Greek bronze age, one might better look east, I suggest.  There are many geological faults in the region, hence there would appear to be many possibilities for myths arising from quakes and tsunamis long before the rise of the Ancient Greeks.
    The problem is that this site is too late to be Atlantis. It's dated from 6,000 to 5,000 BCE, over 3,000 years after Atlantis sank. Points suggest the site is more likely connected to the “Sea People” referenced by Egyptian, Greek & Biblical historical texts, and Plato himself, who alluded to these people as having originally settled Athens.

    This site is most likely an imitation of the design of the legendary Atlantean Capital City of Atalan. Every ancient civilization of note attempted to copy the culture and architecture of Atlantis just as we still copy much from the Romans of 2000 years ago.

    Three concentric rings with a line in the center, the actual symbol of Atlantis, was found carved upon a large stone surface... a marking stone. The human figure on it looks like the figures in cave paintings in Southern France. This may indicate a cultural relationship. I suggest, this stone marker establishes archeological credence for the existence of Atlantis.

    Donana is a first link to Atlantis. Current excavations, such a Donana, will begin to reveal more examples of a unique symbolic connection. More are soon to be found everywhere from Spain to India, as well as around Bimini, Cuba and Bermuda. I predict that more startling discoveries are to come from Turkey, Egypt, Southern Iran and even Peru.

    By Zarin, author of Atlantis: A Karmic Memory of the Rise & Fall at For more:

    Nice advertisement!

    Now, how about contributing to the scientific discussion?
    Not exactly what I had in mind as a documentary - more like a musical with an excited voice-over, and incredibly "wooly", to put it mildly. Not seen any Nat. Geo, stuff before - so had high hopes. This seems to cater to Erik von Daniken and crystal fans. About 20% content and 80% pfaffing around. Sort of thing that makes you want to scream and stick your haed down the toilet. I HOPE that this is not the "normal" style of U.S documentaries, but I suspect otherwise.......

    The subject itself was interesting (when they actually got around to tackling it) - but really - I'm not 12 and my IQ is slightly above 80 - just who on earth actually tackles such a subject in such a dumbed down way??

    Well, it has to better than Ghost Labs or the Shroud of Turin documentaries on Discovery Channel.    I don't think there are any documentaries any more.   In the interests of  balance 'science'  television stations (who want viewers on both sides) tend to give equal time to the kookiest notions, including Mayans wrecking the world in 2012 and if Nostradamus predicted the recent earthquake in Japan.

    I wanted to discuss it because explaining the world, and perhaps if there is any truth to ancient stories, according to natural laws is what science is all about.
    Unfortunately I'd have to agree with you re. documentaries - although programs done in collaboration with the "Open University" (UK) don't seem too bad. I guess it's just the future - and I suppose (just) that anything on science is better than nothing. I did have high hopes with deregulation of UK TV that specialist channels would arise to tackle some subjects in depth - but we seem to be drifting toward the NG format (based on admittedly, the only one I've seen). And - I'll admit reluctantly, it was better than nothing :S

    In fairness to Discovery they have tried a specific Science Channel but it is a money-losing proposition.  If I am running a company I want to get as large an audience as possible and not try to have each individual program profitable.   Amazon made their fortune by having most products that are money losers for bookstores coupled with a lot of other profit centers.    The audience just in the US is 65 million people and, as I have noted too many times to count, adult science literacy is 3X what it was when I was in college, so people know science - I guess they are just getting it in places like this rather than old media.

    One of our writers here, Garth Sundem, hosted a program on the Science Channel that was a lot of fun.  Clip follows: