Atlantis ( ancient Greek Ἀτλαντὶς ) is a mythical island -state. The most detailed description of Atlantis is known from the dialogues of Plato , who referred to Solon . Mentions and comments by Herodotus , Diodorus Siculus , Posidonius , Strabo , Proclus are also known .
The testimony of the ancients about the location of Atlantis is uncertain . According to Plato, the island was to the west of the Pillars of Hercules , opposite the Atlas Mountains . During a strong earthquake, accompanied by a flood, the island was swallowed up by the sea in one day, along with its inhabitants - the Atlanteans. Plato gives the time of the catastrophe as "9000 years ago", that is, about 9500 BC. e.
Interest in stories about Atlantis emerged during the Renaissance . In modern science, questions about the existence of Atlantis are controversial . In general, the story is considered a legend, but attempts are being made to find real historical facts and events that could serve as the basis for the legend. The theme of Atlantis has gained great popularity in the near-scientific and occult-mystical spheres, in particular, there is a teaching atlantology specially developed in the late 1950s .
History of the myth
All information about Atlantis is contained in Plato in two dialogues : “ Timaeus ” (briefly) and “ Critias ” (more detailed).
The dialogue "Timaeus" begins with the arguments of Socrates and the Pythagorean Timaeus about the best state structure. Briefly describing the ideal state, Socrates complains about the abstractness and sketchiness of the resulting picture and expresses a desire
Responding to this wish, the third participant in the dialogue, the Athenian political figure Critias , recounts the story of the war between Athens and Atlantis, allegedly from the words of his grandfather Critias Sr., who, in turn, told him the story of Solon , heard last from the priests in Egypt . The meaning of the story is this: once, 9 thousand years ago (from the time of Critias and Solon, that is, from the 6th-5th centuries BC), Athens was the most glorious, powerful and virtuous state. Their main rival was the aforementioned Atlantis. "This island was bigger than Libya and Asia put together" . On it arose "an amazing kingdom in size and power", who owned all of Libya to Egypt and Europe to Tirrenia (western Italy ). All the forces of this kingdom were thrown into the enslavement of Athens. The Athenians rose to defend their freedom at the head of the Hellenes; and although all the allies betrayed them, they alone, thanks to their valor and virtue, repelled the invasion, crushed the Atlanteans and freed the peoples enslaved by them. After that, however, a grandiose natural disaster occurred , as a result of which the entire Athenian army perished in one day, and Atlantis sank to the bottom of the sea The dialogue "Critias", with the same participants, serves as a direct continuation of the "Timaeus" and is entirely devoted to the story of Critias about ancient Athens and Atlantis. At the same time, however, the origin of the information is explained in a
completely different way: not by memories of the story of Critias the Elder, but by Solon's own notes from the words of the priests, which were allegedly kept by the old man Critias and are still kept by his grandson. According to the new story, Athens was then (before the earthquake and flood) the center of a large and extraordinarily fertile country; they were inhabited by a virtuous people who enjoyed an ideal (from Plato's point of view) state system. Namely, the rulers and warriors, who lived separately from the main agricultural and handicraft masses on the Acropolis , were in charge of everything.communist community. Modest and virtuous Athens is opposed by the haughty and powerful Atlantis. The ancestor of the Atlanteans, according to Plato, was the god Poseidon , who came down with the mortal girl Kleito , who gave birth to ten divine sons from him, headed by the eldest, Atlant , between whom he divided the island and who became the ancestors of his clans: the nine sons of Poseidon received part of the island as inheritance and became archons , while the eldest, Atlas, was the king of the entire island, like his descendants. He also gave a name to the whole ocean (the identity of this Atlant with the titan Atlant known in Greek mythologyis the subject of debate among modern scholars). The central plain of the island stretched 3,000 stadia (540 km) long and 2,000 stadia (360 km) wide; the center of the island was a hill located 50 stadia (8-9 km) from the sea. Poseidon for protection surrounded him with three water and two land rings; the Atlanteans, on the other hand, threw bridges over these rings and dug channels, so that ships could sail along them to the city itself, or, more precisely, to the central island, which had 5 stadia (somewhat less than a kilometer) in diameter. On the island, there were temples lined with silver and gold and surrounded by golden statues, a magnificent royal palace, and there were also shipyards filled with ships, and so on.
In general, Plato devotes a lot of space to describing the unheard-of wealth and fertility of the island, its dense population, rich natural world (even elephants lived there, according to the author ), and so on.
As long as the divine nature was preserved in the Atlanteans, they neglected wealth, putting virtue above it; but when the divine nature degenerated, mixed with the human, they wallowed in luxury, greed and pride. Outraged by this spectacle, Zeus decided to destroy the Atlanteans and convened a meeting of the gods. At this point, the dialogue—at least the text that has come down to us—stops.
The myth of Atlantis in the context of Plato's work
In the description of Plato, it is easy to discern Platonic ideals and the reality surrounding Plato. The Timaeus simulates the situation of the Greco-Persian wars, but in an idealized form; the Athenians who defeated the arrogant Atlanteans are not real Athenians of the 5th century BC. e. with all their shortcomings, and ideal virtuous sages , partly reminiscent of the Spartans , but morally much higher than them; they accomplish their feat alone, not sharing glory with anyone, and at the same time they do not use victory to create their own empire ( as the real Athenians did in the 5th century BC ), but generously grant freedom to all peoples. But in the description of Atlantis there are features of the Athenian sea power hated by Platowith its tireless pursuit of wealth and power, constant expansion, entrepreneurial trade and craft spirit, and so on.
It is believed that Plato's original purpose was to denounce the Atlanteans, depicting them as a completely negative example of greed and pride, generated by wealth and the pursuit of power - a kind of dystopia, opposed to the utopian Athens; but, having begun to describe Atlantis, Plato got carried away and, for purely artistic reasons, created an attractive image of a luxurious and powerful state, so that Atlantis, as a utopia, completely overshadowed the pale sketch of ascetic and virtuous Athens. It is possible that it was precisely this discrepancy between the intention and the result that was the reason that the dialogue was not completed.
It is also noted that Atlantis ideally fit into the Platonic scheme of the involution of political forms - their gradual transition to more primitive forms of existence. According to Plato, kings first ruled the world, then aristocrats, then the people (demos) and, finally, the crowd (ohlos). The power of the aristocracy, the people and the crowd, Plato consistently found in the history of the Greek policies. But he could not find the power of the "god-like kings" who created powerful powers in Greece. In this sense, Atlantis fits perfectly into the logic of Plato's socio-philosophical theory.
Back in the 5th century, the neoplatonist Proclus , in his comments on Timaeus, noted that the history of Atlantis figuratively conveys the history of the cosmos, since "myths show events through symbols." The modern researcher E. G. Rabinovich agrees with Proclus in the idea of the cosmological nature of the story. She also notes that Plato himself hinted at the mythological character of the story in the following way: Critias claims to have heard it from his grandfather at the festival of Koureotis. But this holiday, associated with the entry of young men into civil rights, was in the nature of initiation and, of course, it communicated not random, but bearing the highest and sacred nature of information.
According to E. Rabinovich, the name of Atlantis is derived from the name of the titan Atlantaand points to the "titanic" nature of the Atlanteans, while their struggle with the Athenians reflects the idea expressed in the epic through the struggle of the titans with the Olympians, that is, in other words, the struggle of chaotic and harmonious principles. Athens, however, is the realization of the Platonic ideal of government, detailed in The Republic (which thus constitutes a trilogy with Timaeus and Critias). The history of Atlantis is one of decline and destruction as one moves away from the divine pattern. But, according to the cyclic cosmogony, the decline and death is followed by the eternal return and renewal. Plato himself, disappointed in the decadent reality of his day and seeing the exhaustion of the era that began with the victory over the Persians and the rise of Athens, hoped in this way to teach those who were destined to start a new cosmic cycle.
Plato's Atlantis and Hellanic's "Atlantis"
The name "Atlantis" was not an invention of Plato. Even before Plato, this is how the logographer Hellanicus called his work, according to some assumptions, poetic, in two books (different ancient authors also have other variants of the name: “Atlantias” and “Atlantic”). Several fragmentary fragments that have survived from this work (obviously from its very beginning) are dedicated to the offspring of the titan Atlas , including his grandson the Cretan Jasion . Nemirovsky believes that the work was dedicated to the history of Crete and, in particular, included myths reflecting the former sea power of Minoan Crete. Nemirovsky sees the connection with the "Cretan" origin of Plato's Atlantis (but not directly, but through Hellanic's "Atlantis") in the story of her war with Athens: Athenian legends speak of the conquest of Athens by the Cretans in the reign of Aegeus and then their liberation by Theseus, but Plato transferred Atlantis very far from Athens - beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and at the same time the story of the wars of the Atlanteans with the Athenians has been preserved, despite the fact that it has become much less plausible .
Other ancient authors
Modern atlantologists tend to attribute to the mention of Atlantis the stories about the Atlanteans - an African or East African (obviously Berber ) tribe in the Atlas mountains , spoken of by Herodotus , Diodorus Siculus and Pliny the Elder ; these Atlanteans, according to their stories, did not have their own names, did not see dreams, and were eventually exterminated by their troglodyte neighbors ; Diodorus Siculus also reports that they fought with the Amazons . As for Atlantis itself, the conventional wisdom boiled down to the phrase (attributed to Aristotle) that "(himself) the creator made her disappear" . This view was opposed by Posidonius ., who, being interested in the facts of land subsidence, on this basis found the story plausible ( Strabo , Geography, II, 3.6) . In the 2nd century , Elian , who, in fact, was only a collector of anecdotes, among other things, reports how the kings of the Atlanteans dressed - in the skins of male "sea sheep", and the queens wore a headdress made from the skins of females of these unknown animals to emphasize their origin from Poseidon. Proclus, in the comments to the Timaeus, talks about the follower of Plato, Krantor, who around 260 BC. e. specially visited Egypt in order to learn about Atlantis and allegedly saw columns with inscriptions telling her story in the temple of the goddess Neith in Sais. In addition, he writes:
This Marcellus is unknown from other sources; however, they note that the ancient "Ethiopians", describing the life of a semi-mythical happy people in the extreme South, as a rule, were novels of a fabulously utopian character
The most common opinion among historians and especially philologists is that the story of Atlantis is a typical philosophical myth, examples of which are full of Plato's dialogues. Indeed, Plato, unlike Aristotle and even more so historians, never set as his goal the communication to the reader of any real facts, but only ideas illustrated by philosophical myths. To the extent that the story is verifiable, it is not supported by all the available archaeological material. Indeed, there are no traces of any advanced civilization in Greece or in the west of Europe and Africa, nor at the end of the ice and post-glacial periods .nor in subsequent millennia. It is significant that supporters of the historicity of Atlantis often ignore the verifiable part of the dialogues (including the theme of Athenian civilization that plays the most important role) and concentrate their studies exclusively on the unverifiable part - Atlantis. Further, the Egyptian priests (reputed in Greece as the keepers of the mysterious ancient wisdom) are declared the source of information; however, among the many ancient Egyptian texts, nothing has been found that even remotely resembles Plato's story. All names and titles in Plato's text are Greek, which also testifies rather in favor of their composition by Plato, rather than the reproduction of any ancient traditions by him. True, Plato explains this by the fact that Solon de translated "barbarian" names into Greek; but such treatment of names was never practiced in Greece.
As for the death of Atlantis, it is obvious that, having composed this country, Plato had to destroy it simply for external plausibility (to explain the absence of traces of such a civilization in the modern era). That is, the picture of the death of Atlantis is dictated entirely by the internal tasks of the text.
The most plausible hypothesis about the sources of the story names two events that occurred during the life of Plato: the defeat and death of the Athenian army and fleet while trying to conquer Sicily in 413 BC. e. , and the death of the town of Gelika in the region of Achaia in the north of the Peloponnese in 373 BC. e. (Gelika was flooded in one night as a result of an earthquake accompanied by a flood; for several centuries, its remains were clearly visible under water and sand).
Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean
The Pillars of Hercules (tracing paper of the Phoenician “pillars of Melkart ”) in antiquity was always called the Strait of Gibraltar (and directly the rocks of Gibraltar and Ceuta ). Plato thus places Atlantis directly beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, close to the coast of Spain and what is now Morocco . Morocco among the Greeks, as a country in the extreme West - the seat of the titan Atlanta (Atlas), whose name goes back to the name of the ocean and the Atlas ridge; undoubtedly, the name of Atlantis, “the country of Atlanta” also goes back to it (in the later dialogue Critias, Plato calls the first king of the country Atlant and derives the name from him; but initially, apparently, the name meant simply “the country lying in the extreme West” ).
The most consistent of the supporters of the real existence of Atlantis appealed to the same considerations, pointing out that, according to Plato, it could only be in the Atlantic Ocean and nowhere else. In particular, they noted that only in the Atlantic Ocean can fit the land of the dimensions described by Plato - the central island of 3000x2000 stadia (530x350 km), and several large accompanying islands. An ardent apologist for this version was N. F. Zhirov . From his point of view, Atlantis was located in the Azores and was once the surface part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.. The large area of the island at that time is explained either by the lower level of the world ocean, or by the consequences of an earthquake, or by a combination of factors. Even Christopher Columbus took this archipelago for Atlantis. Michael Baigent adheres to a similar version .
Analyzing the myths about Atlantis, Robert Graves notes that such candidates for the role of Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean, as stretching from Iceland to the Azores , and then curving to the southeast, the underwater Atlantic ridge , as well as the flooded land of the Dogger Bank ( Doggerland ) are unlikely could get into any legends that have come down to Plato, since the Atlantic Ridge, according to oceanographic research, has been under water for at least sixty million years, and the flooding of the Dogger Bank occurred in the Neolithic and was not of a catastrophic nature. The gradual rise in sea level as a result of the melting of the glacier (the end of the last glaciation) led to the flooding of Doggerland by the North Sea .
Many explorers have searched for Atlantis in the area of the Balearic and Canary Islands . The mysterious Guanches who inhabited the Canary Islands in the past were interpreted as descendants of the Atlanteans[ source not specified 874 days ] . Vyacheslav Kudryavtsev in the magazine " Around the World " suggested, based on the texts of Plato and data on the last glacial maximum (ended 10 thousand years ago, which corresponds to the time indicated in Critia), that Atlantis was located on the site of the current British Isles , Ireland , north -Western France and the Celtic Shelf south of the British Isles with its capital on the current Little Sol underwater hill with a top from the surface of 57 meters and surrounding depths of 150-180 meters, and drowned as a result of melting glaciers.
The German Jürgen Spanuth ( German Jürgen Spanuth ; 1907-1998), a pastor and amateur historian, believed that Atlantis was located in the North Sea , was the center of a highly developed northern European civilization of the Bronze Age and died in a catastrophe. The remnant of the island of the Atlanteans, in his opinion, is the current island of Heligoland . His hypothesis was supported and promoted in her books, both historical and journalistic, and fiction by the German writer Britta Verhagen (pseudonym of Alberta Rommel, 1912-2001). Spanut and Verhagen also argued that since the Middle Eastern peoples did not count years, but months, then 9000 years from Solonin fact, you need to understand it as 9000 months and divide this number by 12. This, in their opinion, also confirms that Atlantis in Plato's description is a developed state of the Bronze Age , and not a society of the Stone Age .
Soviet research expedition in con. 1970s engaged in the search for Atlantis 200-300 miles from the coast of Portugal , between the mainland and the island of Madeira . In March 1979, representatives of the Soviet side announced the discovery by the Soviet oceanographic expedition of underwater walls and stone stairs at the bottom in the specified region of the Atlantic.
Atlantis in the Mediterranean
The story of Atlantis by Plato can be considered as a myth based on real historical events during which, as a result of a natural disaster (earthquake, flood or some other cataclysm), a previously prosperous civilization perished or fell into decay. Such a historical event may be the eruption of a volcano on the island of Santorini and the subsequent decline of the highly developed (by the standards of that time) Minoan civilization in the Mediterranean.
In this case, the area of Atlantis given by Plato and the 9,000-year-old age of the event are considered as an exaggeration, and the prototype of Atlantis is the island of Crete and the island of Santorini, partially destroyed by a volcanic explosion and collapse of the caldera (another name is Fira, in ancient times Strongila). Existed in Creteand neighboring islands, the ancient Minoan civilization really fell into decline after the volcanic eruption and its explosion on the island of Strongila in the 17th century BC. e., that is, not 9000, but 900 years before Plato. The catastrophic volcanic eruption “in one day and a disastrous night” led to the destruction of the island, the formation of a huge tsunami that hit the northern coast of Crete (the largest part of the island metropolis) and other islands in this part of the Mediterranean Sea, and was accompanied by earthquakes. Volcanic ash covered the fields on the islands and the coast of the mainland within a radius of hundreds of kilometers, which, with a layer thickness of more than 10 cm, makes them unsuitable for cultivation for a year or more, thereby causing famine. Given the local wind rose, most of the ash should have fallen in an east-southeast direction, leaving Greece and Egypt untouched. At the same time, the Minoans like the Atlanteans described by Plato, they really had military clashes with the Achaeans who inhabited mainland Greece (since they were actively engaged in piracy). And the Minoans were indeed defeated by the Achaeans, however, not before the natural cataclysm, but only after it.
According to the well-known description of Plato, the island of Atlantis had a concentric channel inside, through which ships could sail, with exits to the open sea. This corresponds in shape to an insular volcanic caldera with an annular ridge and a central island. Geological studies of the islands of Santorini and bottom sediments in the eastern Mediterranean show that there was previously an older caldera on the site of the current caldera, formed as a result of a similar eruption about 20,000 years ago. However, in size, all known calderas are much smaller, according to Plato, "Libya (the ancient Greek name for Africa) and Asia combined." This discrepancy can be explained, firstly, by exaggeration and distortions that have accumulated over hundreds of years of oral transmission of legends about real events (especially since
A fairly detailed presentation of this version, with a comparative analysis of Plato's texts and factual materials obtained by the end of the 20th century by history, archeology, geology and related sciences, is available in the book of a doctor of geological and mineralogical sciences, an employee of the Institute of the History of Natural Science and Technology named after A. S. I. Vavilov RAS I. A. Rezanova "Atlantis: fantasy or reality?" (M., "Nauka", 1975).
The documentary film "Atlantis The Evidence", BBC, ("Atlantis was here", TV channel "Culture"), clearly explains the likelihood of a connection between the concept of "Atlantis" and the volcanic eruption on the island of Santorini. The global nature of the volcanic eruption on Tire gives rise to assumptions about the flooding of the Black Sea at about the same time, when the height of the tsunami reached tens of meters, and the most direct connection with the biblical legends about the “global flood”, when waves of tens of meters sweep away everything on the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and, perhaps they only help to open the Bosporus and the Dardanelles with the highest pressure on the tectonic plates.
Circumpontic region (Black Sea)
The theory of the Black Sea flood
Main article: Black Sea flood theory
The prototype for the events of the legend of Atlantis could serve as a catastrophic rise in the level of the Black Sea , which may have occurred in the sixth millennium BC  . It is assumed that during this Black Sea flood , in less than a year, the sea level rose by 60 meters (other estimates are from 10 to 80 meters ) due to the breakthrough of the Bosphorus by Mediterranean waters.
The flooding of large areas of the northern Black Sea coast could, in turn, give impetus to the spread of various cultural and technological innovations from this region to Europe and Asia .
Associated with the legend of the prosperous Atlantis and its death may be such events as the formation and collapse of the Indo-European community , which led to the beginning of large-scale Indo-European expansion at the end of the 4th millennium BC. e. Geographically, these events are tied to the regions adjacent to the Black Sea. So, one of the hypotheses of the location of the homeland of the native speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , proposed by V. A. Safronov , belongs to the Danube (North Balkan) region . The hypothesis also involves linking to this community the emergence of writing , fortified cities, division of labor, centralized management, the emergence of social classes and the emergence of the first civilization based onVinca culture. When comparing the Platonic legend with the events of the 4th millennium BC. e. the coincidence in time is achieved by the interpretation proposed by A. Ya. Anoprienko of the period of 9000 years indicated by Plato as 9000 seasons of 121-122 days each . It is in this case that the maximum correspondence is observed not only with traditional historical chronology, but with biblical chronology , as well as with the theory of the Black Sea flood , provided that the catastrophe is dated approximately 3300-3200 BC. e.
Other region bindings
The Romanian researcher Nikolai Densushyanu in his work "Prehistoric Dacia" (1913) identified the Atlas Mountains with the southern Carpathians in the region of Oltenia , and Atlantis as a whole with Romania, noting the correspondence of the size and location of the Lower Danubian Plain to the description of the central plain of Atlantis and introducing the assumption that Plato mixed the terms " river" - "sea" - "ocean" on the one hand, and "island" - "country" on the other.
With such a binding, difficulty arises with finding a correspondence to the capital of Atlantis, which, according to Plato, was located 9-10 km from the coast and in the center of the city there was a low mountain. There are no seamounts in the Danube Delta , and the only island is about. Serpentine - has no signs of human presence until the 7th century BC. e., although the ancient Greeks built a temple dedicated to Achilles on the island , and in written sources ( Old Greek Νῆσος Λευκή - White Island) it is sometimes referred to as the Island of the Blessed.
One of the hypotheses claims that Antarctica is the lost Atlantis. It is based on cartographic artifacts ( the Piri Reis map , etc.), which were allegedly created on the basis of dozens of ancient maps attributed to civilizations with developed navigation that existed 6-15 thousand years ago. This hypothesis is detailed in the book Footprints of the Gods by author Graham Hancock . According to the author, Antarctica was shifted to the south pole as a result of a lithospheric shift. And before that, it was closer to the equator and was not covered with ice. However, this assumption is contrary to modern scientific ideas about the geological movement of the continents . There is also a version, associated not with the movement of the continents, but with the displacement of the earth's axis as a result of a planetary cataclysm 10-15 thousand years ago (for example, "collisions of the Earth with a cosmic body of enormous mass"), before which Antarctica was not at the south pole, had a warm climate, rich flora and fauna, was inhabited by people and built up with cities, some of which are allegedly visible on satellite photographs . This version also contradicts scientific ideas about the consequences of various celestial bodies falling to the Earth, about the impossibility of a quick catastrophic shift of the earth's axis , about the dating of the Antarctic glaciation , etc.
Atlantis in the Andes
In 1553, for the first time in literature - in the book " Chronicle of Peru " by Pedro Cieza de Leon - an Indian story is given that " white people " penetrated the territory of the province of Guamanga ( Peru ) long before the Spaniards, and even ruled there before the Incas :
Later, this story became known to many other historians and chroniclers of Peru, as well as missionaries from Catholic orders, who spread their own story about the European origin of the supreme god Viracocha , which was reflected in numerous myths of the Indians. In particular, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa worked on the most detailed hypothesis about the location of Atlantis in the Andes in his book Historia de los Incas.
In 1555, he directly compares Plato's Atlantis with the kingdoms of Peru - the lands of the Inca Empire - the secretary of the Royal Council of Castile, the chronicler Agustin de Zarate in his book " History of the discovery and conquest of the province of Peru " (published in Antwerp ), citing different opinions of historians on where they came from people in America. Zarate justifies his position by the fact that Plato's 9000 years from the Flood is the calculation of the years by the Egyptians not according to the sun, but according to the moons, that is, months, which means that they should be considered as 750 years. And the customs of the Peruvian Indians, their religious and imperial architecture, sheathed with plates of gold, just, according to Zarate, correspond to the description of Plato.
In Atlantis: The Andes Solution, Jim Allen presented a theory identifying Atlantis with the Altiplano plateau in South America. The theory is based on several arguments.
- high accuracy of coincidence between satellite photographs of the area and ancient descriptions, on the assumption that the dimensions indicated by Plato are given not in Greek stages , but in "Atlantean", different due to the latitude of the location.
- the presence of geological formations on the plateau, which may be traces of human activity and correspond to the descriptions of the capital of Atlantis.
- the developed culture, scientific and technological achievements of the peoples of South America are explained through the existence of a previous more advanced civilization.
- the presence of artificial, according to some scientists[ who? ] , based on the ternary logic of the Aymara language .
Atlantis in Brazil
In 1624, the English scientist and politician Francis Bacon of Verulamsky in the book "New Atlantis" ( Nova Atlantis ) identified Brazil with Atlantis . Soon a new atlas with a map of America was published, compiled by the French geographer Nicolas Sanson , in which the provinces of the sons of Poseidon were indicated on the territory of Brazil. The same atlas was published in 1762 by Robert Vaugudi.
The most consistent supporter of the localization of Atlantis (or its colonies) in Brazil was the famous British scientist and traveler Colonel Percy Garrison Fawcett ( 1867 - 1925 ). The main indication of the existence in unexplored areas of Brazil of the remains of the prehistoric cities of Atlantis for him was the so-called. Manuscript 512 is an 18th-century document that describes the discovery by Portuguese treasure seekers ( bandeirantes ) in 1753 of the ruins of an unknown dead city deep in the province of Bahia .
Fawcett called "Z" the " main goal " of his searches - a certain mysterious, possibly inhabited city on the territory of Mato Grosso , only presumably identical to the city of the Bandeirants of 1753. The source of information about "Z" remained unknown; esoteric lore from Fawcett's time to the present day links this mythical city to the Hollow Earth theory .
Fawcett considered a figurine made of black basalt as material evidence of the existence of an unknown prehistoric civilization in Brazil . According to Fawcett, experts from the British Museum were unable to explain to him the origin of the figurine, and for this purpose he sought the help of a psychometrist , who, upon contact with this artifact , described "a large, irregularly shaped continent stretching from the northern coast of Africa to South America", on which then struck a natural disaster. The mainland's name was Atladta.
Fawcett says that on his 1921 expedition, he was able to collect new evidence of the existence of the remains of ancient cities by visiting the Gongoji River region in the Brazilian state of Bahia. In 1925, Fawcett and his companions did not return from a search for lost cities in the upper Xingu River , the circumstances of the death of the expedition remained unknown.
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