11/14/2004

U.S. researcher says finds Atlantis off Cyprus

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 11:10 pm

A U.S. researcher on Sunday claimed he had found the lost civilisation of Atlantis in the watery deep off Cyprus — adding his theory to a mystery which has baffled explorers for centuries.

Robert Sarmast says a Mediterranean basin was flooded in a deluge around 9,000 BC which submerged a rectangular land mass he believes was Atlantis, lying 1.5 km beneath sea level between Cyprus and Syria.

“We have definitely found it,” said Sarmast, who led a team of explorers 80 kilometres off the south-east coast of Cyprus earlier this month.

Deep water sonar scanning had indicated man-made structures on a submerged hill, including a 3-kilometre-long wall, a walled hill summit and deep trenches, he said. But further explorations were needed, he added.

“We cannot yet provide tangible proof in the form of bricks and mortar as the artefacts are still buried under several metres of sediment, but the circumstantial and other evidence is irrefutable,” he claimed.

At a news conference in the port city of Limassol, Sarmast provided only animated simulations of the “hill”.

Whether and where Atlantis existed has captured imaginations for centuries.

According to ancient Greek philosopher Plato, Atlantis was an island nation where an advanced civilisation developed some 11,500 years ago.

Theories abound as to why it disappeared, from Atlantis being hit by a cataclysmic natural disaster to Greek mythology which describes the civilisation as being so corrupted by greed and power that it was destroyed by God.

Sceptics believe Atlantis was a figment of Plato’s imagination.

Sarmast says he was led to Cyprus by clues in Plato’s dialogues. Plato’s reference to Atlantis lying opposite the Pillars of Hercules — believed to be the Straits of Gibraltar — have often led explorers to focus on either the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland or the Azores off Portugal.

“People who dismiss this have not really done their homework, sceptics don’t really understand. To understand the enigma of Atlantis you have to have good knowledge of ancient history, Biblical references, the Sumerian culture and their tablets and so on,” said Sarmast.

Although the most prevailing story of a world cataclysm is listed in the Biblical Old Testament, several ancient cultures do list accounts of civilisations being destroyed in floods.

Source: Reuters

 

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