You have to love the excitement generated by the apparent sighting of Atlantis on Google Earth.
It always amazes me that people get so het up about the myth of Atlantis. Plato must be kicking himself. He mentions that he heard about a kingdom that sank into the sea from a sailor in a bar that was called Atlantis. If everything sailors said in bars was given that much credence we'd be in deep trouble as a society.
Nevertheless behind every piece of folklore there may be a grain of truth. Atlantis was said to have existed around 11,000 years ago, around 2,000 years before the Sumerian civilization that is generally accepted to have been the first.
However, archaeologists are increasingly questioning this account of history. We are finding more and more evidence of older civilizations, but the remains of these are largely underwater. Much of Alexandria bay in Egypt sits on top of an old city and similar finds have been reported in India and Japan.
Around 9,000 years ago the earth went through a rapid warming phase and, as the ice retreated, sea levels rose around 125 feet. Given that most early civilizations started next to the sea it's highly likely that they would have been drowned, albeit with the residents scattering and fleeing for safer ground.
Such an occurrence has made it into many accounts of human development, from the Bible onwards, and this may explain why the story of Atlantis has such a hold over us.
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