A new documentary airing on the Discovery Channel says that the ancient lost city of Atlantis may indeed have been located on what is now known as the Greek island of Santorini.
Covered by 200 feet of ash from an volcanic explosion, almost unimaginable artistic riches, showing extravagant wealth, that have been unearthed recently in the area known as Akrotiri on the island of Santorini have offered up yet more tantalizing clues as to its real identity.
The eruption of the island — which was originally called Stronghili, or “round” — in 1650 BC, decimated all life on the island and erased an entire city-state, which has been shown by archaeologists to have been part of the Minoan civilization.
The great philosopher and writer Plato, in his writings “Timaeus” and “Critias,” described the beauties of the once great and militarily powerful island, whose inhabitants became so enamored with themselves and so arrogant that the gods destroyed the city as punishment.
Plato stated that the city once even besieged Athens itself with its naval forces, but the Athenians repelled the attack handily; the island nation was punished by the gods subsequently for its hubris, sinking under the waves of the Aegean. The Discovery Channel’s new film, part of its series “Blowing Up History,” lends new credence to the theory that the island of Santorini may indeed be the location of the great city.
Recent finds, including those made just this past year, show objects of exquisite artistry found in the area referred to as Akrotiri, on Santorini, which may indeed be the location of the ancient Atlantis. Protected now by state-of-the-art roofing, researchers continue to unearth more treasures from the past which were buried there, much like at Pompeii many centuries later, preserving a civilization that has been lost forever.
The island’s culture flourished 3,000 years ago before its inhabitants were so violently killed by the volcanic eruption — but researchers say its civilization had been in existence for thousands of years prior to that time.
Since its discovery in the mid-19th century, more and more paintings, objects and buildings have been uncovered, each one pointing to an extremely advanced and wealthy civilization. The new documentary states: “Clues to the connection can be found in the incredible frescoes that decorate the walls of every home.”
Just as Plato described, “These vibrant paintings depict a paradise full of swirling colours, flowers and exotic animals. They capture a snapshot of the locals. They are evidence of a highly sophisticated and wealthy civilization.”
Although no other writers of that time — or any other time — described Atlantis, Plato’s words have lived on in history, and thousands of historians have tried to pinpoint exactly where the fabled island lay.
However, the fact that it disappeared nearly instantly after the cataclysmic eruption of the ancient volcano “leads many to believe Santorini is the lost island of Atlantis,” according to the documentary.
“In its prime,” the film states, “its narrow streets are intricately paved with stone and its town square is lined with picturesque houses which tower three and four stories high. An array of colorful stones decorate the facades.
“The ruins suggest a highly sophisticated civilization flourished here for thousands of years before its abrupt end.”
The film shows how the island was struck by a volcanic eruption, as described by Plato.
The gigantic eruption, which is considered to be one of the largest in the last several thousand years, created 20 mile-high cloud that rained ash on lands as far away as Egypt – 200 miles from Santorini.
“Ancient writers described how the ash cloud plunges the world into darkness, causing a global winter for two years,” the narrator says. The blast was so enormous that it used up almost the entire mountain’s land mass, creating a huge caldera inside the “arms” of Santorini, as the remains form a giant crescent shape.
The shape of the island was instantly changed forever after the fateful blast.
More than 3,000 years afterward, the fascination about the possibility that this may actually be the lost Atlantis continues to intrigue archaeologists and historians today.
Admittedly, Plato is known to have borrowed some of his stories, allegories and metaphors from older oral traditions, and it may never be demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that Santorini is the fabled lost civilization of Atlantis.
Still, it seems that there is a great deal of evidence that this fantastically wealthy island — with its paved streets, fantastically-decorated homes and luxuries of every kind — just may be the same Atlantis that has gone down in history and folklore.