Atlantis, the Lost Land
In 1999 I came across a website by a Russian academic Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev. The website put forward his theory on the location of Atlantis and I was gobsmacked. His theory made sense. It fits what we know of Atlantis and the history of this planet.
Uniquely among a plethora of websites speculating on Atlantis, Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev bends no facts to fit a preconceived notion
No data was harmed in formulating his theory, no facts were bent to fit his preconceptions, no geological data had to be altered, no alien intervention.
Now this is where you're expecting me to give you a link to Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev's website so you can read about it yourself.
Unfortunately the relevant pages disappeared more than ten years ago, but I kept copies for reference and I've put up mirrors of the relevant pages here.
The copyright of these pages lies with the originators
Our original source for information on Atlantis are the writings of a Greek author called Plato contained in two books entitled 'Timaeus' and 'Critias'. (The only copies of Critias which have down to us are in an unfinished draft form). Both of these books are written in a format known as 'dialogues', a format very popular in Ancient Greece. Dialogues take the form of a discussion between individuals but is more than just a mere recording of a conversation because it presents the author with a means of presenting differing views on a subject.
The story of Atlantis in both 'Critias' and 'Timaeus' is narrated by an individual called Critias. ( He may have been an ancestor of Plato ). In a conversation with Socrates, Timaeus and Hermocrates, Critias recounts a conversation between Solon and an Egyptian priest. Critias had heard the story from his grandfather, also named Critias, who had heard it from Solon. The 'Timaeus' introduces Atlantis, among other topics, while the later, unfinished 'Critias' was to be exclusively about Atlantis.
Making reference to sacred records, the Egyptian priest tells Solon of a country called Atlantis which lies outside the Pillars of Hercules. He tells of a war between Atlantis and Athens and of a terrible catastrophe which resulted in Atlantis sinking to the bottom 'in a single dreadful day and night.' All of this happened nine thousand years before.
By following the dating evidence found in the dialogues it can be ascertained that the conversation between Solon and the Egyptian priest took place around 600-575BC. Thus, according to Plato Atlantis disappeared in the tenth millennium BC. A date at the end of the last ice age, when sea levels rose by 100-200 metres.
As to the geography of Atlantis; Plato tells us in the Timaeus that Atlantis was "larger than Asia and Libya combined" he also writes (in Critias ) that the capital city of the Atlanteans was surrounded by a plain 2000 x 3000 stades ( 370Km x 550Km )
THE PILLARS OF HERCULES (HERACLES)
It would also seem expedient now to dot all the i's and cross all the t's concerning what Plato calls the Pillars of Hercules. Let us read the passage on the parts of territory allotted to Poseidon's sons:
"His twin, to whom was allocated the furthest part of the island towards the Pillars of Heracles and facing the district now called Gadira, was called in Greek Eumelus but in his own language Gadirus..." (Critias. 114b)
In Plato's time, ancient Greeks used the name of Gadirus for the city which was situated where modern Cadiz stands now, on the Atlantic coast of the Pyrenean Peninsula, not far from Gibraltar.
Diodor of Sicily in his "Historical Library" writes about Phoenicians as follows:
"...started going beyond the Pillars of Hercules to the sea called the Ocean. And shortly built a city called Gadirus on the peninsula in Europe, close to the strait situated at the Pillars..." (6)
We can only imagine how much the proponents of the Cretan hypothesis must want to adjust Plato's narrative to that hypothesis, to find on the way from Athens to Crete some rocks which allegedly were called the Pillars of Hercules.
Had such rocks really existed, and had Crete or Santorin really been Atlantis, then for the Egyptian priest its inhabitants would have been those who lived "inside the Pillars", while the inhabitants of Athens would have been those who lived "outside the Pillars".
If we accept as trustworthy Plato's data concerning the time when Atlantis existed, and its dimensions, and if we resist the temptation of placing this enigmatic land somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, a question arises of where in the Atlantic it was situated and where it is possible to find some evidence of its existence there in the past.
Modern geology has a wealth of data on the geological structure of the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean. All of it, with the exception of the parts of the shelf which are the margins of the continental platforms, is constituted by the oceanic crust. This fully agrees with the notions of the process of the formation of the Atlantic Ocean which exist within the framework of plate tectonics hypothesis, which holds that the continental plates drifted apart from the Mid-Atlantic rift, which was subsequently filled by the magma, which constitutes the oceanic crust (15). The map of the Atlantic Ocean bears it out graphically that the outlines of all the continental platforms facing the ocean, ideally fit in with the line of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, connected with the earth-crust rift, from which the continents "are sliding apart"; Africa, South and North Americas, Greenland, Scandinavia and Europe make up a perfectly fitting mosaic, in which there simply is no room for an allegedly lost fragment, particularly of such dimensions as Plato described (See map of the Atlantic Ocean). Besides, today there are no objective data that could give grounds for raising the question that there may have been a subsidence of the earth-crust in the Atlantic Ocean commensurate in scale with the sinking of a big island or a small continent, not only in the last dozens of thousands of years, but even in the whole time of the Atlantic Ocean' s existence, which amounts to many dozens of millions of years.
On the other hand, as has already been mentioned, the time when Atlantis vanished, as given by Plato, precisely coincides with the end of the last Ice Age (I would like to remind the readers that Plato speaks of the 10th millennium B.C.). Meanwhile, the changes of the ice sheets volume are closely connected with the so-called glacio-eustatic changes of the sea level, and it is known that during the last glaciation the sea level was considerably lower than at present because a great amount of water was bound up in glaciers.
There are various methods making it possible to come to conclusions about the glacio-eustatic fluctuations in the sea level during the last glaciation, but there is no uniform, commonly recognised notion of the magnitude and the dynamics of these processes. According to the estimates of most researchers, during the maximum of the last glaciation (18-16 thousand years ago) the sea level was 100-170 metres lower than at present: