November 16, 2004
A US researcher claims he has discovered the lost civilisation of Atlantis off Cyprus.
Robert Sarmast says a Mediterranean basin was flooded in a deluge about 9000 BC that submerged a rectangular site he believes was Atlantis. It lies 1500 metres below sea level, 80 kilometres off the south-eastern coast of Cyprus.
“We have definitely found it,” Mr Sarmast said.
Deepwater sonar scanning had indicated man-made structures on a submerged hill, including a wall three kilometres long, a walled hill summit and deep trenches.
“We cannot yet provide tangible proof in the form of bricks and mortar, as the artefacts are still buried under several metres of sediment, but the circumstantial and other evidence is irrefutable,” Mr Sarmast said.
Whether and where Atlantis existed has captured imaginations for centuries. Plato said Atlantis was an island nation where an advanced civilisation developed 11,500 years ago.
Theories abound as to why it disappeared. Some say Atlantis was hit by a cataclysmic natural disaster, but according to Greek mythology the civilisation was so corrupted by greed and power that it was destroyed by God.
Sceptics believe Atlantis was a figment of Plato’s imagination.
Mr Sarmast says he was led to Cyprus by clues in Plato’s dialogues. Plato’s reference to Atlantis lying opposite the Pillars of Hercules, which are believed to be the Straits of Gibraltar, have led explorers to focus on either the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland or the Azores off Portugal.
“People who dismiss this have not really done their homework,” Mr Sarmast said.
“Sceptics don’t really understand. To understand the enigma of Atlantis you have to have good knowledge of ancient history, biblical references, the Sumerian culture and their tablets and so on.”