Lost city of Atlantis 'buried in Spanish wetlands'
Published 16/03/2011 | 05:00
The lost city of Atlantis is buried under marshes on the southern Atlantic coast of Spain, a documentary has claimed.
The film, 'Finding Atlantis', was screened by the National Geographic Channel in the US on Sunday and presented by Prof Richard Freund, from Hartford University in Connecticut.
He explained how he led an expedition to find the lost civilisation, believed by many to be an ancient Greek myth, by using deep-ground radar, digital mapping and satellite imagery.
"I think we found the best candidate for what was the beginnings of civilisation . . . one of the largest and most ancient cities at the bottom of a marsh."
He contends that Atlantis, described by the Greek philosopher Plato in 360BC, is in Spain's Donana National Park, north of Cadiz, and was wiped out by a giant tsunami. Plato wrote that it had been destroyed by a natural disaster at a time corresponding to around 9,000BC.
"This is the power of tsunamis," said Prof Freund. "It is so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about."
He said that some of Atlantis's inhabitants had fled a tsunami to establish similar "memorial cities" which he had identified in central Spain.
His film company, Associated Producers of Canada, added: "Besides identifying the location of the city, they discovered a stele (a stone slab) that may have stood at the entrance to the ancient civilisation. It records the long-lost symbol of Atlantis."
The film's claims were dismissed yesterday as having no reliable basis in scientific fact and of misinterpreting partial results of an investigation by a team of Spanish scientists. Since 2005, they have been working on the site at Donana, a national park and bird sanctuary.
Juan Villarias-Robles, an anthropologist with the Spanish government's scientific research body, CSIC, said Prof Freund appeared to have sensationalised their work.
Mr Villarias-Robles was part of a team investigating ancient settlements in Donana, Europe's largest wetlands area. He said his team planned to offer their own conclusions later this year.
The theory that Atlantis is buried in the Spanish wetlands is the latest in a long line of suggested locations. In 2004, US ocean researchers were convinced they had found evidence of Atlantis off the coast of Cyprus. Others include various Mediterranean islands, Central America and even Antarctica. (© Daily Telegraph, London)