Don’t Hold Your Breath Over Atlantis Findings

A claim has come through in the press recently and made its rounds throughout the internet that a massive city lost by the vengeful tides of the sea has been discovered by archaeologists.  Of course the claim has come to the news media long before being studied by archaeological peers, and with the bold faced motivation of earning more funding for the expedition.

The only thing that seems to have resurfaced in this case is the age old desire to usurp the archaeological field with financial gains in mind.  Needless to say the evidence presented leaves a lot to be desired, and those experienced with hoaxes are generally giving this story a wide berth as something about it smells fishy.

It’s with good reason that the story is being looked at suspiciously by potential investors, as it comes in the wake of one of the most often claimed archaeological finds of the past few centuries.  Throughout history people have claimed to have discovered the lost city of great technology since its earliest surviving written testament to its existence.

It was Plato who first recorded the city (rather a nation) in his writings, but many have speculated that the city of Atlantis may have been merely allegorical to politics, as direct criticism of any political group was in 350 BC quite a dangerous thing to do.  Still, others have contested that the lost city of Atlantis still remains today, buried on the ocean floor as a testament to the impotence of advanced technology against the unforgiving all encompassing forces of Earth.

Since Plato’s texts were first recovered, dozens if not hundreds of claims have been made by archaeologists all over the world, claiming to have found the lost city.  It is, by now, as elusive and iconic a discovery as The Holy Grail or the Fountain of Youth.  Regardless of whether it turns out to be false, the city’s population in fiction has swelled as fictional visitors from the Science Fiction genre have made appearances within its domed walls since shortly after the genre was first conceived.

In popular culture, Atlantis is often portrayed as either a city populated with gilled people who rely on technology years in excess of anything we have discovered on Earth since, often tapping into some form of cosmic rays or magical energy to power a world without steam and all the technological wonders within.  The lost nation of Atlantis, in pop culture, presumably adapted to its underwater world somehow rather than leaving and traveling to the surface.  Often citizens are seen to have developed fish-like qualities such as gills, webbed appendages, and other features that make them look humanoid, but not quite fully human.

Of course depictions of Atlantis in the speculative field largely say it was likely completely destroyed by whatever caused it initially to sink, but that ruins along with incredible technological insight (which we may or may not have caught up to by now) are now scattered across the bottom of the ocean.  Strange artifacts (such as the ancient Antekythera computer) discovered on the bottom of the sea have indicated that certain pockets of civilization were far more technologically advanced than was previously suspected and often Atlantis mythology is tied into this whole tale.

Reading into the actual account of the Atlantean war with Athens taking place some 9,000 years prior to Plato’s writing (almost 11,000 years by now) it does appear the story is meant to make a point about their current social climate.  But why so specific?  Plato describes Atlantis as a kingdom with ten kings dividing up its provinces.  Regardless, the reports of Atlantean discovery are to be taken with a grain of salt until more evidence is presented or at the very least the identity of the archaeologists involved comes forth.