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> The wave that destroyed Atlantis


The Great Ving
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Posted: Apr 21 2007, 10:24 AM
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The wave that destroyed Atlantis
By Harvey Lilley
20 April 2007
BBC Timewatch 
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The legend of Atlantis, the country that disappeared under the sea, may be more than just a myth. Research on the Greek island of Crete suggests Europe's earliest civilisation was destroyed by a giant tsunami

Until about 3,500 years ago, a spectacular ancient civilisation was flourishing in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The ancient Minoans were building palaces, paved streets and sewers, while most Europeans were still living in primitive huts.

But around 1500BC the people who spawned the myths of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth abruptly disappeared. Now the mystery of their cataclysmic end may finally have been solved.

  The wave would have been as powerful as the one that devastated the coastlines of Thailand and Sri Lanka on Boxing day 2004 leading to the loss of over 250,000 lives

A group of scientists have uncovered new evidence that the island of Crete was hit by a massive tsunami at the same time that Minoan culture disappeared.

"The geo-archaeological deposits contain a number of distinct tsunami signatures," says Dutch-born geologist Professor Hendrik Bruins of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

"Minoan building material, pottery and cups along with food residue such as isolated animal bones were mixed up with rounded beach pebbles and sea shells and microscopic marine fauna.

"The latter can only have been scooped up from the sea-bed by one mechanism - a powerful tsunami, dumping all these materials together in a destructive swoop," says Professor Bruins.

The deposits are up to seven metres above sea level, well above the normal reach of storm waves.

"An event of ferocious force hit the coast of Crete and this wasn't just a Mediterranean storm," says Professor Bruins.

Big wave

The Minoans were sailors and traders. Most of their towns were along the coast, making them especially vulnerable to the effects of a tsunami.

One of their largest settlements was at Palaikastro on the eastern edge of the island, one of the sites where Canadian archaeologist Sandy MacGillivray has been excavating for 25 years.

Here, he has found other tell-tale signs such as buildings where the walls facing the sea are missing but side walls which could have survived a giant wave are left intact.

"All of a sudden a lot of the deposits began making sense to us," says MacGillivary.

"Even though the town of Palaikastro is a port it stretched hundreds of metres into the hinterland and is, in places, at least 15 metres above sea level. This was a big wave."

But if this evidence is so clear why has it not been discovered before now?

Tsunami expert Costas Synolakis, from the University of Southern California, says that the study of ancient tsunamis is in its infancy and people have not, until now, really known what to look for.

Many scientists are still of the view that these waves only blasted material away and did not leave much behind in the way of deposits.

But observation of the Asian tsunami of 2004 changed all that.

"If you remember the video footage," says Costas, "some of it showed tonnes of debris being carried along by the wave and much of it was deposited inland."

Volcanic eruption

Costas Synolakis has come to the conclusion that the wave would have been as powerful as the one that devastated the coastlines of Thailand and Sri Lanka on Boxing day 2004 leading to the loss of over 250,000 lives.

After decades studying the Minoans, MacGillivray is struck by the scale of the destruction.

"The Minoans are so confident in their navy that they're living in unprotected cities all along the coastline. Now, you go to Bande Aceh [in Indonesia] and you find that the mortality rate is 80%. If we're looking at a similar mortality rate, that's the end of the Minoans."

But what caused the tsunami? The scientists have obtained radiocarbon dates for the deposits that show the tsunami could have hit the coast at exactly the same time as an eruption of the Santorini volcano, 70 km north of Crete, in the middle of the second millennium BC.

Recent scientific work has established that the Santorini eruption was up to 10 times more powerful than the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. It caused massive climatic disruption and the blast was heard over 3000 miles away.

Costas Synolakis thinks that the collapse of Santorini's giant volcanic cone into the sea during the eruption was the mechanism that generated a wave large enough to destroy the Minoan coastal towns.

It is not clear if the tsunami could have reached inland to the Minoan capital at Knossos, but the fallout from the volcano would have carried other consequences - massive ash falls and crop failure. With their ports, trading fleet and navy destroyed, the Minoans would never have fully recovered.

The myth of Atlantis, the city state that was lost beneath the sea, was first mentioned by Plato over 2000 years ago.

It has had a hold on the popular imagination for centuries.

Perhaps we now have an explanation of its origin - a folk memory of a real ancient civilisation swallowed by the sea.

Timewatch: The wave that destroyed Atlantis is on BBC Two at 2100BST on Friday 20 April, 2007.


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Posted: Apr 24 2007, 02:39 PM
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I'm sure that will be of interest to mainstream archaeologists in solving the riddle of the sudden disappearance of the Minoan civilization but I don't see any real connection with Atlantis. Various skeptics have tried to reconcile Plato's account of the 9,000 BC destruction of Atlantis with the explosion of Thera thousands of years later by jumping through all kinds of mathematical hoops to show that Plato added too many zeros. I haven't found that convincing. It is far simpler for skeptics to dismiss the Timaeus and Critias as works of philosophical fiction than to try and reconcile the many discrepancies within the works and what is presently known from the archaeological record. In this case I think the Atlantis connection stems from the popular press' tendency to connect any ancient civilization discovery with Atlantis to snag readers.


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Posted: Apr 24 2007, 03:43 PM
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Perhaps the Minoans, a dark skinned (and lighter skinned mix of) peoples were a part of Atlantis.... that fabled ancient mythological civilization.

I've done a lot of research and studying on the Minoans and they were one of the most advanced societies known in their time.

To be blunt, at the moment, Platos tale of Atlantis is merely just a nice fairy tale to me.

But make no mistake...I fully believe the dark skinned peoples of Earth were far more advanced than the savages and natives we are taught to believe inhabited the Earth when the white colonizers began their explorations and conquests of a millenium or so ago.

Those conquests continue today.... in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan (which the proxy Soviet Union started in the 1990s and then the proxy US took over) and soon Iran.

The colonizers stage and wage wars in native lands and then occupy and conquer those lands after the villages are burned and the natives displaced.

The colonizers then re-draw the maps and divide the lands and resources amongst their greedy partners/bloodlines and then they take advantage of the cheap slave labor of the peoples they conquered.




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"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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Posted: Apr 24 2007, 05:57 PM
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I agree Mark. Atlantis seems to be a metaphor at best and though Plato likely did not invent it out of the whole cloth, the thrust of his writing was philosophical. The Minoans, the Sea Peoples and the Phoenicians at least offer tangible evidence to follow with regard to an early widespread advanced culture. As I've stated before, Gobekli Tepe offers the first serious proof we have of an advanced culture around 10,000 BC which is close to Plato's date.


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Posted: Apr 24 2007, 06:31 PM
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Gobekli Tepe.... is that in India?




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QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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The Great Ving
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Posted: Apr 24 2007, 09:08 PM
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Hello Tex. waving.gif


hmm5.gif I'll have to check some of my research materials but it seems like the Minoans were part of a trade cartell that included the Hitites, Egyptians, and a few other sea faring cultures that may have also included one of the central or south american cultures. Atlantis itself was kind of like America is today... If I remember correctly, there were ancient ruins found off the coast of Cuba that were said to be at a depth of 2000 feet which could only be explained by a event similar to what caused that Tsunami. A sudden plate drop. After the collapse of the minoan empire, the Phoenecians kind of inherited their old trade routes.


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Posted: Apr 24 2007, 11:05 PM
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Hello, DarmonVing, yes that jibes with what I recall as well. Greg Little has found something conclusive at the Bimini Road which will be released shortly. He has maintained that the Bimini Road and surrounding area was a Phoenician staging point and the road is similar to Phoenician harborworks in the Old World. Nothing new has been reported on the Cuba ruins for about two years or more.

Mark, Gobekli Tepe is in Anatolia(Turkey) and the discovery of a buried temple dating to 10,000 BC was made by a German team last summer.


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Posted: Apr 25 2007, 03:48 AM
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Mark, Gobekli Tepe is in Anatolia(Turkey) and the discovery of a buried temple dating to 10,000 BC was made by a German team last summer.

Thanks Tex!




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QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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