The Roots of Atlantis

In many cultures there are stories of civilizations lost under the sea–Atlantis, Lemuria, or some Great Flood that buried cultures and brought an end to civilizations.

From time to time someone claims to have discovered the location of this event, or the lost Atlantis–in the Minoan Sea off Greece, near Bimini Island in the Bahamas, for example. But the disappearance of civilizations under the sea was almost certainly a global phenomena. And Its cause was not the wrath of God, some seismic disturbance, or an asteroid impact, but the ending of the last ice age, ten thousand years ago.

Today we live what paleoclimatologists call an interglacial period. For most of the last few million years, Earth has experienced a series of Ice Ages, lasting a hundred thousand years or so. In between have been much briefer inter-glacial periods, lasting approximately ten thousand years. We are currently in such an interglacial period. It began with the ending of the last ice age some ten thousand years ago.

During an ice age a significant amount of the Earth’s oceans are bound up in ice. Before the end of the last ice age ocean levels were as much as three hundred feet lower than today. At that time, many of the human settlements would have been located at or near the then sea level–agriculture communities in river plains, fishing at the ocean’s edge, or perhaps even trading ports in natural harbors.

When the ice age ended, it did so relatively rapidly, in a hundred years or so. A three hundred foot rise over a hundred years is three foot per year–something that would not have gone unnoticed, nor without impact on these low-lying communities.

In the area we now call the Black Sea, the flooding was much faster still. Back then this was not a sea but a large low-lying inland area, sealed off from the Mediterranean Sea at the Bosphorus. As the sea level rose it breached the barrier at the Bosphorus and poured into the area beyond, creating the Black Sea in a period of about three years. That was probably one of the greatest floods ever in human history. Each day the waters would have spread a mile further into the basin. People would have had to flee, leaving everything behind, apart from the animals they could take with them. Overlooking the Black Sea is Mount Arahat where Noah’s Ark is said to have landed. Recent explorations of the Black Sea the with robot submersibles have found stone remains of human habitation 300 feet below the surface–that’s sea level during the last ice age.

The flooding might have occurred most rapidly in that area, but it was happening everywhere, and signs of it are everywhere.

  • Off coast of Japan, near Yonagumi, a megalithic fishing port has been discovered. Streets and steps carved in rock, along with stone circles and other structures similar to those found on land nearby, which are associated with the Jomon civilization, going back 15,000 years.
  • Off Bimini Island in the Bahamas are similar roads and large cut blocks of stone, which carbon dating studies suggest were above sea level around 10,000 years ago.
  • Other underwater remains of lost civilizations have been found between Taiwan and Chinese mainland. Two long walls constructed from huge blocks of stone meet at right angles. This whole area would have been land during the ice age–but sufficiently far from the poles not be covered in ice.
  • An underwater city has been found in the Caribbean, with large pyramids very similar to those found in Central America.
  • Recently a city covering several square miles off Mahabalipura in Southern India, at the location of the myth of the Seven Pagodas.
  • In 2006, remains of a vast underwater city (5 miles long by 2 miles wide) were found 120 feet beneath the surface of the Gulf of Cambay, on West coast of India, which carbon dating showed to be 9,500 years old.
  • There are signs of early civilizations in other places: The Bay of Bengal, around the island of Malta, and off the Azores.

So the answer to the question "Where was Atlantis located?" is "Everywhere." We should be looking for the remains of Atlantis out on continental shelves all around the world, or rather in all those regions that were far enough from the poles that human communities could thrive.

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