Lost City of Atlantis Found Off the Coast of Cyprus

Nov 15, 2004
The Scotsman

Key points
• Claims man-made structures off coast of Cyprus are lost city of Atlantis
• Archaeologist believes Cyprus island is remains of Atlantis peninsula
• Myth of Atlantis dates back to accounts by Greek philosopher Plato

Key quote
"The list of evidence is truly enormous. The people who dismiss it are people who have not done their homework. This is all based on real science." - Robert Sarmast, archaeologist

IT IS a legend which has excited the imagination of explorers and adventurers for centuries ... an ancient city lost for millennia beneath the sea.

While some discount the existence of the city of Atlantis as the stuff of myth and fable others have spent their lifetimes searching for the lost civilisation.

Now an American researcher believes he is ready to silence the doubters after locating evidence of man-made structures sunk in the sea between Cyprus and Syria which he is "absolutely convinced" are the ruins of Atlantis.

Robert Sarmast, an archaeologist and author of a book on the lost city, has located the centre of what he believes to be Atlantis, a "walled hillside" about a mile beneath the sea 50 miles off the south-east coast of Cyprus. A detailed sonar scan of the seabed has revealed what he believes to be man-made structures.

Mr Sarmast said the dimensions and configuration of walls and a canal on a hillside above a rectangular plain on the seabed "perfectly" matched the first known description of the fabled city by the Greek philosopher Plato. "There are walls, there are trenches, there are canals," said Mr Sarmast. "We have proven this is a match that cannot be coincidental."

Aware that scholars and experts believe the Atlantis story is a myth, Mr Sarmast insisted his discoveries are based on scientific fact.

"The list of evidence is truly enormous," he said. "The people who dismiss it are people who have not done their homework. This is all based on real science."

Sofronis Sofroniou, a professor of Greek philosophy in Cyprus, was highly sceptical, describing the possibility as incredible. "It’s not possible that through the ages nobody mentioned Cyprus in connection with Atlantis. It’s incredible really.

"My intuition is there is nothing in it, but fantastic things have come out true before."

Experts will have the opportunity to test Mr Sarmast’s findings after he has processed the detailed computer imaging data from an expedition he made last week into a three-dimensional model. He is also planning a second expedition to clear away silt and sediment that has accumulated over thousands of years so that he can bring back physical proof that the underwater structures were man-made.

The expedition, involving experts who helped in the search for the Titanic, used the latest side-scan sonar technology that involved a three-mile long cable dragged 50 metres above the sea bed to map out the area, which Mr Sarmast described as "one of the most poorly mapped areas in the world".

Some have placed Atlantis in the Aegean. Others have put it in the Azores, off Britain or even as far as the South China Sea.

A German scientist this summer thought he might have found Atlantis off the Spanish coast.

Unlike many historians who dismissed Atlantis as a myth, Mr Sarmast said he saw Plato’s account as far more than an allegorical tale of hubris and human corruption.

Priests in ancient Egypt were not myth-makers, but "keepers of history", Mr Sarmast said. "We’re basically verifying this story they’ve handed on to us. To ancient civilisations this was no myth."

Mr Sarmast believes that what remains of Cyprus today is just the mountain tops of the old Atlantis peninsula.

Geologists say that the land mass of Cyprus’s central mountain range once formed the ocean floor.


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