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Reflections on Ancient Underwater Cities

In the May/June issue of Atlantis Rising magazine, David Lewis writes about the newly-discovered ancient underwater cities of India. He says, "Finding the ruins of an ancient, submerged civilization raises more questions than it answers, causes more problems than it solves. How did the land and structures sink? What could have prompted such a large scale cataclysm? When did civilization on earth actually begin? What do we really know about the ancient past and human origins? And how does the establishment of science, so fixed in its doctrines, grapple with the potential demise of its most cherished presumptions?" In other words, these cities raise more questions than they answer. This may trouble the conventional scientific establishment, to the degree that they even try to deny the validity of these ancient ruins.

The initial guess by archeologists was that newest underwater city discovered off the coast of India, which is 5 miles long, was 4,000 to 6,000 years old. "But in January of 2002," Lewis says, "carbon dating revealed that an artifact from the site was astonishingly ancient, between 8,500 and 9,500 years old?the oldest known civilization in the world by thousands of years?a time when, according to orthodox archeological standards, India should have been peopled with primitive hunter gatherers and a few settlements, not inhabitants of a lost civilization."

Author Graham Hancock has personally researched the underwater site and describes buildings there as being hundreds of feet in length, with drains running along the streets. Hancock says the discovery of the cities means that "the foundations are out of the bottom of archeology."

Lewis writes that conventional archeology believes that civilization began 5,000 years ago in Sumeria. "In the orthodox (Darwinist) view, life and then human beings emerged extremely slowly from highly improbable accidental causes over a period of time necessitated by laws of probability?Civilization followed, according to the scenario, after the theoretical Out of Africa migration (about 100,000 years ago) and fairly recently in prehistory. Evidence of extremely ancient civilizations, or severe cataclysmic disruptions (those resembling mythical events that may have shaped the ancient world) throw a wrench into the conventional machinery."

Lewis talks about the possibility of life arriving on Earth by "more mysterious means, not by a series of astronomically improbable accidents, not through a biblical creationist scenario, but by virtue of some other unknown agency, an all-pervasive life force more in keeping with "The Tao of Physics" than "The Origin of the Species," some mysterious agency such as that evidenced in eastern healing disciplines and codified impressionistically in the world?s mythologies?Tradition in India has always held, in fact, that Indian culture predates all understanding, being virtually timeless, stretching into the mists of antiquity whence sprang the gods and myth?the non space/non time reality of modern theoretical physics."

He describes Indian legends about a much bigger Indian land mass in ancient times which, he says, "leads to the idea of an Asian Atlantis?" In Sri Lanka, an ancient legend says that "In a former age, the citadel of Rawana (Lord of Lanka), 25 palaces and 400,000 streets were swallowed by the sea?" Another ancient tradition is that "formerly [the] country was of continental dimensions, but the daughter of an evil spirit threw many rocks into the sea?the waters rose and swallowed up the land?Everything alive perished, except what was able to save itself on one island that remained above the waters." Ancient Indian writings describe a spiritual academy that was located in that ancient place, lost beneath the ocean. Lewis says, "At least one branch of modern-day south Indian mystics claims a direct lineage from those extraordinarily ancient times, when their spiritual progenitors were said to have achieved extremely long lives through yogic techniques?India?s epic poem, the Mahabharata [over 7,000 years old], contains references that place its hero, Rama, gazing from India?s present-day west coast into a vast land mass now occupied by the Arabian Sea?"

See news story, "Another Underwater City in India", click here.

To learn about Atlantis Rising Magazine, click here.

Meanwhile in Europe, a new theory about the location of Atlantis has emerged. Jacques Collina-Girard, from the University of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France, says Atlantis could have been sited on an island close to the Strait of Gibraltar, and would have vanished below the waves about 11,000 years ago, just as Plato said it did. His evidence is based on a study of sea levels that prevailed as the last Ice Age was ending. His study of the coral reef data shows the coastline off the southernmost tip of Spain and around Gibraltar 19,000 years ago to have been 422 feet below what it is today. This would have exposed an archipelago, with an island at the spot where Plato reported Atlantis to be in his work Timaeus.

"There was an island in front of the Pillars of Hercules [the Strait of Gibraltar]," Collina-Girard says. Named Spartel, this island lay to the west of the Strait just as the Greek philosopher described. The Strait was longer and narrower than today, and enclosed a harbor-like inland sea.

The search for Atlantis has led archaeologists to the Caribbean, the Azores, Canaries, Iceland, Crete, Tunisia, Sweden, the coast of Western Africa and now India. But Collina-Girard says, "Nobody seems to have to have thought of the clearest indication given by Plato?that of an island at the mouth of the Pillars of Hercules."

The researcher says he made the discovery accidentally while investigating the possible migration patterns of Palaeolithic people. However, Plato?s reporting does not agree with the geological evidence in a number of aspects. For example, Plato said Atlantis was larger than Libya and Asia combined, while Spartel was only 8.75 miles long by three miles wide at the time.

Plato also reports that volcanic activity sank Atlantis, but this may not have been true, says Collina-Girard. "The Greeks were familiar with volcanic eruptions," he says. To them, such a fate might have been more dramatic and plausible than the change in sea level that would have accompanied the melting and gradual retreat of glacial ice sheets.

To find out how ancient catastrophes have affected the human mind right up to the present, read "Catastrophobia" by Barbara Hand Clow, click here.

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