Many possible locations have been pinpointed over the years as the home of Atlantis, the lost island of legend first mentioned in Plato’s Timaeus and Critias writings. Now a team led by University of Hartford, Conn. researcher Richard Freund believes that it has found evidence of its existence in the mud flats of southern Spain, Reuters reports.
While the possible location of Atlantis has been hypothesized numerous time in the past, this particular finding is notable because of the presence of “memorial cities” in Spain that are modeled in the image of the legendary island’s lost city. The belief is that refugees headed inland after a tsunami struck, burying the island and its city in what is now the Donana National Park in Spain’s Andalusia region.
The discoveries made by Freund and his team will be detailed in a National Geographic documentary, Finding Atlantis, premiering tonight. “It’s the best possible candidate that’s ever been discovered with the most amount of evidence,” Freund said in an interview with CTNow.com.
Using electro-imaging equipment designed to locate oil deposits, the research team discovered submerged shapes that point to the former existence of a city in the Spain location. Subsequent explorations yielded a wealth of evidence, including carved artifacts and a evidence of wood dating back to 440 B.C., found in core sample taken from more than 40 feet below the surface. These samples also contained a layer of methane, which Freund believes is yet another vitally important clue.
“Finding this one layer of methane is a very telltale sign of a society that is destroyed in one fell swoop. This was in the middle of nowhere, and there was no methane layer found in the area except where we were working.”
If the findings turn out to be accurate, this discovery would put to rest years of hypothesizing, not just over the physical location of Atlantis but also the truth of its existence. Many have theorized over the years that Plato’s account was a work of fiction. Spains’ southern mud flats are only dry for one month out of the year, in the late summer, so any deep-diving examination will have to wait until then. In any event, it seems clear that Freund’s team has made sizable discovery, though whether or not they have really found the lost city of Atlantis will remain a mystery until additional research can be conducted.