Has the lost city of Atlantis been found in Morocco?

Published March 17th, 2015 - 06:00 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

It has long been seen as a mythical and powerful city, lost for more than 2,000 years beneath the sea.

Explorers have traveled to Crete, Malta, Sicily and Santorini in search of the the mysterious metropolis of Atlantis - described in detai by Greek philosopher Plato.

But a computer expert has challenged these theories after he claimed the lost city did not sink at all, and said he had tracked down the site - to an area on land in Morocco. 

Michael Hubner claimed Atlantis was overwhelmed by a tsunami, which then receded leaving the remains undiscovered, near the coast of Marrakesh.

The German computer expert formed his theory using mathematics to calculate the precise GPS coordinates of the lost city.

He meticulously gathered every detail he could from Plato's 'Timaeus' and 'Critias' which describes Atlantis in detail and gives in total 51 clues about the mysterious city.

These 'clues' include that Atlantis was near the sea and had a ring-like structure surrounding its centre. Crucially, it was also said to be 3,100 miles from Athens. This area includes Europe, Africa and the Middle East. 

Other clues were that Atlantis was not in ancient Europe or Asia and had very high and big mountains, with Morocco having the Atlas mountains. It was also said to lay west of Egypt and Tyrrhenia.

Using these details Hubner put the measurements into a computer programme and used a map which divided the area into 400 squares. 

The site was in a desert basin just seven miles from the sea and in the centre was a small mound, similar to the raised area at the heart of the ancient city described by Plato. Surrounding it were circular dry riverbeds, matching Plato's description of the city being surrounded by concentric circles, which alternated between land and sea.

Hubner concluded it was highly improbable that all the characteristics of Atlantis were present in this area purely by chance.

The theory is described as 'the most convincing on paper' by Mark Adams in his book, 'Meet me in Atlantis.'

Adams wrote: 'The measurements for the diameter of his outermost ring and distance of his capital from the Atlantic Ocean varied by only about 10 percent from Plato's numbers.'

The author also found support for Hubner's idea that rather than sinking into the ocean, Atlantis was overwhelmed by a large wave. The area around Souss Massa is prone to earthquakes, which can cause tsunamis of the size needed to flatten a city.

Hubner had claimed that the idea of Atlantis being beneath the sea was simply an example of the real elements of the story being lost over years of retelling.

Also Morocco has historically not been examined by archaeologists, suggesting many undiscovered remains that may hold the key to the lost city could exist. 

Hubner formulated his theory in 2008. Before he died in 2013 he met Adams and took him to the precise site he had pinpointed from his calculations.

The theory differs from many hypotheses that place Atlantis as a lost city beneath the sea, as described by Plato. 

Earlier this year orichalcum, a form of metal, was found beneath the sea off the coast of Sicily and is believed to have come from the lost metropolis. 

A total of 39 ingots were found in the wreck of a 2,600 year old cargo vessel thought to be from Greece. 

By Claire Carter

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