IN SEARCH OF ATLANTIS: IS IT MYTH OR HISTORY?
In search of Atlantis: Is it myth or history?
Conference on Milos next week examines the enduring mystery
Professor Christos Doumas of the Greek Archaeological Society will be at next week’s Atlantis conference on Milos.
The case of Atlantis has never ceased to arouse interest. Did the lost land ever actually exist? If so, where exactly was it and what brought about its complete destruction?
These are a few of the questions that a number of scientists will ponder at an upcoming conference on «The Atlantis Case: In Search of a Lost Land,» scheduled to take place next week (July 11-13) on the island of Milos at the Giorgos Heliopoulos Conference Center.
Over the years, the search for Atlantis has enthralled many scientists working in fields such as history, archaeology, philosophy, volcanology, cartography and oceanography. During the event, a group of scientists will present current research on the mystery.
Professors involved in the upcoming conference's international program committee include Michalis Fytikas and Spyros Pavlidis of Thessaloniki University, Silvio Cataldi of the University of Turin, Stavros Papamarinopoulos of Patras University, Haraldur Sigurdsson of the University of Rhode Island in the USA, Giorgos Vouyiouklakis of the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration and Christos Doumas of the Greek Archaeological Society. Doumas also leads excavations at Santorini's Akrotiri site.
Plato first mentioned the lost land of Atlantis in the fourth century BC, and the mystery remains intact at the dawn of the 21st century.
According to the philosopher's writings, Atlantis was a leading civilization of prehistoric times.
It was apparently an island-state in the Atlantic Ocean, and it faced the Pillars of Hercules (Straits of Gibraltar). According to Plato's version, it was founded more than 12,000 years ago.
The island-state was inhabited by an aristocratic and powerful tribe that enjoyed great wealth, thanks to the area's natural resources and the community's land planning. Atlantis, it seems, was also an important commercial center.
For many generations, the people of Atlantis lived humbly and wisely, but gradually became corrupted by greed and power.
In the end, it was Zeus who punished them with a powerful wave that ultimately «swallowed up» the island and its people.
The sensational story has drawn attention and admiration from specialists and non-specialists around the world, all of whom are in an endless search for evidence that might solve the mystery.
Could it be that the story is an exaggeration based on the fall of Cretan civilization and the destruction of Thera?
Or could it be that Atlantis never actually existed and was simply a myth mimicking Plato's descriptions of the perfect state?
Origin : ekathimerini