As killer waves wiped away entire towns on the coast of Japan, another city said to have been obliterated by a tsunami thousands of years ago may have surfaced for the first time on archaeological maps. A U.S.-led team of researchers, including three Canadians, says it has located the remains of fabled Atlantis, buried in marshlands in southern Spain. “This is the power of tsunamis—it can wipe out 60 miles [almost 100 km] inland, and that’s pretty much what we’re talking about,” said Richard Freund, a professor at the University of Hartford who led the effort to pinpoint the true location of the legendary city. His team used a combination of satellite imaging, digital mapping, underwater technology, and deep-ground radar to locate the site. Freund claims that the existence of ancient “memorial cities” in central Spain, supposedly built in Atlantis’s image by survivors of the tsunami, offers compelling evidence that what he has found is, in fact, the famous city-state of antiquity.
The only known mention of Atlantis comes from the Greek philosopher Plato, who described it as sitting on an island in front of the “Pillars of Hercules,” as the Straits of Gibraltar were known in the ancient world. That’s why archaeological searches have been focusing on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the most likely sites.